[star]The American Mind[star]

October 12, 2006

Green Talks about Immigration

Rep. Mark Green is the son of immigrants. He understands them and appreciates the important role they play and have played in America's history. Green also appreciates the rule of law so one way to honor legal immigrants is to be tough on those who flout our laws. He recently talked to a group of supporters about immigration.




Green is mild-mannered in temperment and full of conviction. It's quite different from the "extreme" label Gov. Doyle is trying to put on him.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 11, 2006

More Fun at Drinking Right

Last night's Drinking Right was another good time at Papa's Social Club. I posted pics at Flickr. Enjoy.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:48 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 06, 2006

iTunes Tax

New Jersey will become the next state to tax its citizen's downloads. Gov. Jim Doyle, who says he's never raised Wisconsin taxes, toyed with the idea last year. The Republican-controlled legislature stopped him. If he's re-elected expect him to try again to fund future big spending with an "iTunes tax."

"New Jersey's iTunes Tax"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 04, 2006

Foley Money to Green Will Go to Charity

Mark Foley's sex scandal reaches Wisconsin. Foley's 1998 donation of $1000 to Mark Green will go to charity a Green spokesman said.

"Green to Donate $1,000 He Received from Embattled Congressman"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:22 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

October 03, 2006

Say a Little Prayer

Tee Bee had to fly to California because her mother became ill. We're thinking about you here at TAM HQ.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Green Attacks Doyle on Illegal Immigrants

The ads are starting to roll out of the Mark Green campaign. His latest one hits Gov. Doyle hard on his special treatment for illegal immigrants.



He also harps on state taxes being too high. That's the big theme of his campaign, and he's staying on message.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2006

WSJ Poll: Doyle's Lead Slims Tremendously

Zogby's poll for the Wall Street Journal, a combined online and phone poll, finds Gov. Jim Doyle with only a 1.3% lead over Rep. Mark Green.

And to really make the Wisconsin GOP ask themselves, "What if we actually found someone to challenge Sen. Herb Kohl?" the poll finds Kohl with only a 13.3% lead over Robert Gerald Lorge.

UPDATE: Even with this poll the overall average has Doyle with a 5% lead over Green. Doyle's numbers have started taking a nosedive.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Odd Poll in Governor's Race

Until I see corroborating numbers I'm discounting the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute's poll that has Gov. Doyle with a 5% lead over Rep. Mark Green. The overall spread seems right, but the poll says Green is leading in Democratic stronghold Milwaukee, and Doyle leads Green by 11% in Green Bay Green's backyard. If the numbers are accurate this will be one wild race with more unpredictabilities.

"Governor's Race Poll Contains Surprises"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 28, 2006

More Mark Green Ads on YouTube

If you watch plenty of Wisconsin television you have probably already seen these two Mark Green ads. My tv watching amounts to sports and neither Green nor Doyle are buying ad time during Brewers games. So for those with similar viewing habits here's two good Green ads now on YouTube:

Mark Green really needs your help to make sure these ads get as much play as possible. Please donate to his campaign.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 27, 2006

Joseph Sobran to Speak in Milwaukee Thursday

Last Saturday, James Widgerson posted on an up-coming speech by Joesph Sobran to the Wisconsin Forum. His speech will be about the "hijacking of conservatism." Sobran, once a paleo-conservative or paleo-libertarian now an anarchist, was forced to resign from National Review because of his unhealthy obsession with Israel and the role of Jews in American politics. In 1991, William F. Buckley wrote about how he attempted to keep Sobran from letting his obession harm his career and reputation.

From Sobran's own words about "Jewish power," the "wrath of Jewish advertisers," the "Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United States," and his many uses of the pejorative "Zionist" (sounding like Palastinian propaganda) it's clear to me he has a dislike of Jews as a group. Ergo it's not a stretch to call Sobran an anti-Semite even though he was in awe of particular Jews like Murray Rothbard. What's also disturbing is his paranoia. Richard John Neuhaus quotes Sobran:

The older I get, the more I am impressed by this pervasive fear of the Jews-or rather, pervasive in some critical power centers, unfelt in other places. It is a huge factor, invisible and incalculable, in American culture and politics.

Sobran's obsession (one he denies) with Jews has no place in a conservatism where people are treated as individuals and not abstracted into ethnic groups with certain exceptions.

What should be done? What I can do is simply not attend the speech, and I encourage no one else to attend. Also, airing my opinion via this weblog is a constructive action. While the Wisconsin Forum has been around for decades and has an admirable committment "to speaking on behalf of the principles of liberty" I am very disappointed in their selection of Sobran. The organization's reputation has suffered in my eyes. Much work will be needed to be done to improve it.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 25, 2006

Vice President Raises Big Bucks for Green and GOP

Vice President Dick Cheney came to Milwaukee to raise $150,000 for Mark Green and Wisconsin Republicans. That should help make up for losing in court to a Jim Doyle-appointed judge.

"Cheney Visits Milwaukee"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mark Green Hits Back at Doyle

Many of us Mark Green supporters have been waiting for him to strike back at Jim Doyle's constant barrage of attack ads. With today's ruling against him in liberal Dane County by a Doyle-appointed judge he has to know the rules of the game are being rigged by his opponents. Now, Green has struck back. I hope this is just the beginning. The next ad should feature one Georgia Thompson who's going to federal prison for rigging a state travel contract toward a big Doyle contributor.

The Green campaign will move the questioned $467,844 into a separate account leaving Jim Doyle with that much more of a financial advantage. Please donate to Mark Green. Wisconsin doesn't deserve four more years of Doyle's ethical treachery.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2006

More on Doyle's Rigging of the State Elections Board

There has been plenty of electrons spilled on the news that a Gov. Jim Doyle lawyer conspired with members of the State Elections Board to stick it to Rep. Mark Green. Patrick at Badger Blogger has an extensive round-up. So check him out for breadth. I'll highlight some thoughts I found interesting:


  • Campaign finance uber-scholar and former FEC member Bradley Smith calls Michael Maistelman's actions "as unethical behavior as I have seen from a lawyer appearing before an administrative agency, or members of the agency itself."

  • Jeff Wagner writes, "The attorney for the State Elections Board suggests that this contact was legal. Maybe, maybe not. The point though is that these e-mails provide pretty clear evidence that the process was fixed from the beginning. This wasn't a private citizen lobbying the Elections Board. It was the attorney for the patron of several appointees telling them how to vote."

  • Rick Esenberg writes, "Of course, apart from the legality, this looks awful. Here's Maistelman carefully circumventing the open meetings laws and telling these intrepid seekers of truth what the "powers that be" had deemed acceptable. Here he is again telling them that they can tie Green up in the courts and make him look bad."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Bad Timing of Doyle's "Ethics" Ad

Ask Me Later's Cantankerous noticed Gov. Doyle's great timing. Yesterday, his campaign released a new ad [PDF] bashing Rep. Mark Green for keeping $468,000 in PAC donations that were legal until Doyle got his cronies on the State Elections Board to retroactively declare them illegal.




In the ad Doyle says he won't stop cleaning up corruption. Will he be asking for Carl Holborn and Kerry Dwyer to step down from the board? Will Doyle campaign attorney Michael S. Maistelman be fired? Will Doyle's campaign pay for the Election Board's court costs since it's a being used as a political weapon against Green?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Doyle's Words vs. Facts

Badger Blogger's video sums up nicely the first Doyle-Green debate:


You could make two good commercials out of that. Nice work, Patrick.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Doyle's Lawyer Had Board Stick It to Green

We might as well toss aside the latest poll numbers. A new piece of data has entered the governor's race, and it's a doozy. Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign lawyer told Democratic members of the State Elections Board to retroactively declare some of Rep. Mark Green's PAC contribution illegal to stymie the Republican's campaign.

Attorney Michael S. Maistelman bluntly told Democratic Party members of the board he contacted why they should publicly sanction or punish the Green campaign, according to documents obtained by the Journal Sentinel under the state's open records law.

"Even if this ends up in Court it is a PR victory for us since it makes Green spend money and have to defend the use of his Washington DC dirty money," Maistelman said in a 9:31 a.m. e-mail one day before the vote. He sent the message to Carl Holborn and Kerry Dwyer, board members appointed by Democratic leaders of the Legislature.

Holborn, Dwyer and another Democratic appointee, Robert Kasieta, were part of a five-vote majority that gave Green's campaign 10 days to divest itself of $467,844 in donations from political action committees not registered in Wisconsin - an order the Green campaign will fight in a Dane County courtroom today.


Now, those of us political junkies figured Doyle was behind the board's unfair ruling, but now the public knows how brazen Team Doyle was.

Wisconsinites strongly feel people should play fair. We've learned again that Gov. Doyle doesn't care about fairness. He simply cares about winning re-election and advancing his liberal agenda. He trades state contracts for campaign contributions, lies about the state government's finances, labels his opponents as "extreme," over does it when talking about embryonic stem cells' medical potential, and now turns a bipartisan election board into a political weapon.

Wisconsin is at a point where serious people need to work together to solve the assortment of problems facing the state. With Rep. Mark Green we have a man who's laying out plans on education, taxes, and health care. With Gov. Doyle it's smear commercials and stacking the deck through cronies. Wisconsin deserves better than that.

"Doyle Lawyer Urged Sanction" [via Fraley's Daily Takes]

UPDATE: To read Michael Maistelman e-mails you can download them here [PDF]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 20, 2006

Mark Green on Merit Pay for Teachers

Many teachers work very, very hard. They deserve their salaries and more. Rep. Mark Green agrees and wants merit pay for teachers.


Giving good teachers a pay raise makes sense to me. That's what happens in the private sector. WEAC will gripe because their mission isn't to promote teacher excellence; it's to protect union members no matter how poorly their doing their jobs.

Please make a donation to help Rep. Mark Green "make Wisconsin great again."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 18, 2006

Ad War Intensifies

It's commercial time.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mark Green on Health Savings Accounts

There are some (there always are) who will say, "There's no difference between the two candidates." Sometimes they're right, but on the issue of health savings accounts there is a big difference. Rep. Mark Green wants to make them deductible on Wisconsin taxes while Gov. Doyle has vetoed the legislation.


Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Green-Doyle Debate I

Friday night is the worst night to hold a political debate. It's the beginning of the weekend when people begin relaxing and doing things they want to do not the stuff they're told to do. People are going out, taking in one of Wisconsin's famous fish fries, or seeing a movie. News-wise it isn't good either. Saturday newspapers are the least read of the entire week. Why do you think Gov. Doyle vetoed so many bills on a Friday afternoon? A governor's debate on a Friday night makes little sense. So I saved my post-debate analysis until now when people are back into the swing of thinking about "serious" subjects like politics.

Rep. Mark Green understood the debate's timing and unleashed his assortment of sound bites as answers to questions from an audience put together by We the People/Wisconsin. (To spice it up they should have some webloggers take on the candidates.) Friday night's debate was on taxes and the economy. Green jumped on his anti-tax soapbox to tell the audience that "the problem in Wisconsin is we're over-taxed." When asked to rank his preference among various kinds of taxes he said, "I'm unable to say that any of them are too low. All of our taxes are too high." In every answer to a question Green mentioned taxes. He's banking on anti-tax sentiment and hoping enough people will vote on that issue.

For Gov. Doyle every other word out of his mouth was "education." He made the case that he worked very hard to write a budget that protected education and taxpayers. He attacked Green for Washington, D.C.'s fiscal irresponsibility saying, "They haven't made the hard choices in Washington. We have made the hard choices in Madison." He mentioned how previous governors led us to our current budget problems and how federal policies were harming Wisconsin job creation.

Green countered Doyle's budget acumen by pointing out how he borrowed from the transportation fund and other pools of state money to put the budget into balance. Yes, it's easy to claim you put together a balanced budget when: 1) it's required in the state constitution; and 2) you take money from other funds pushing spending cuts and/or tax increases into the future.

On the budget Doyle said that Green's plan to freeze taxes and spending would mean "deep cuts." But in politician-speak that means slowing the rate of growth, something Green stated he wanted to do.

One of Green's goals was to make himself the anti-tax candidate. He succeeded. Gov. Doyle was forced to talk about the taxes he did cut. Doyle's goal was to connect himself with education even if the second debate would focus on that topic. He talked about how we have "got to make sure we have decent schools." He said he has a "full commitment to education."

Throughout the debate Gov. Doyle appeared staid, fairly competent and, well, boring. But being boring doesn't necessarily hurt you when trying to get re-elected. However, near the end Gov. Doyle finally got irritated by Rep. Green constantly accusing him of not caring about high taxes. When talking about a tax freeze that he vetoed three times he said, "I've got to be the grown-up in this." Remember that. Gov. Doyle doesn't think you're serious and an adult if you think taxes should stop going up. Imagine what he thinks of people who want their taxes cut. We caught a glimpse of the real Jim Doyle.

Green hasn't gone after Gov. Doyle's ethical problems. That's the elephant in the room for the two debates. Because the debate organizers have the debates structured around topics--Friday's on taxes and the economy with the 10.22 debate on education and health care--it could be difficult for Green to ask Doyle tough questions about state contracts given to campaign contributors or to go back in time and remind voters the 2002 Doyle campaign kissed up mentally ill people with pastry and small cash prize bingo games or even about how his staff thought it would be a good idea to send a bad of used needles to State Assembly Speaker John Gard's office. He has to find a way to talk about improving the dignity of state government and its office holders. Gov. Doyle's record is an embarrassment to Wisconsin. Mark Green needs to make sure he's held accountable.

"Taxes and Economy Focus of First Guv Debate"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2006

Rude Protesters Interrupt Doyle

I've noticed a lack of passion by right-wing voters in Southeast Wisconsin. I think many are still bummed Scott Walker is no longer running for governor.

So while the rude protest at Gov. Doyle's news conference yesterday was "dumb and counterproductive" (to steal from Charlie Sykes) it gives me some hope that Rep. Mark Green will win the election by finding a way to constructively use all that anti-Doyle energy pent up in Southeast Wisconsin.

"Protesters Disrupt Doyle News Conference"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wisconsin Doesn't Ban Necrophilia

I bet you didn't know Wisconsin has no ban on necrophilia. That may change. The three Cassville kooks who thought digging up a body and having sex with it would be a fun way to pass the time had their sexual assault charge tossed out. It sort of makes sense in a sick, obscene way. It's hard to rape someone when they're dead. You're neither given nor denied consent. It sounds like a question on a law exam from the craziest law professor this side of [fill in the blank with a Leftist-dominated law school of your choice]. Me thinks whoever is sitting in the governor's office next year will be signing a necrophilia law. Just a hunch.

"Judge Nixes Attempted Sexual Assault Charges Against Accused Grave Robbers"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 13, 2006

Bucher Slams Van Hollen in Defeat

When people run for office they put their hearts and souls into it. Hours upon hours are taken up giving speeches, knocking on doors, contemplating strategy, and raising money. Achieving victory must amount to an amazing high. Defeat must be worse than 50 punches to the gut. I can understand Paul Bucher being upset in his loss to J. B. Van Hollen. What he didn't need to do was lash out the way he did. In his concession speech he said,

We were right on the issues - you know it and I know it. We just ran short of money. And you know, that's disappointing that elections can be bought. And I wish J.B. well, but, you know, dumping that kind of money in the race in the last two weeks tells me Wisconsin's for sale.

Van Hollen has funded a good portion of his campaign with a loan on his home. Using one's financial means isn't buying voters. Sen. Kohl has been funding his campaigns out of his fat wallet for years yet no one claims he's bought Wisconsin.

I'm a tad insulted that Bucher thinks my vote can be bought. I didn't endorse Van Hollen because of a television commerical I didn't see--the guy isn't buying much ad time during Milwaukee Brewers' games. I endorsed him because he is right on the issues, is electable, and would do well as Attorney General.

Bucher was understandably frustrated. Thus I'll give him some slack and forget about his bashing of all those good people who went out in some awful weather to vote.

P.S. Did anyone at Van Hollen's party see where Brian Fraley passed out? Did he have a big grin on his face?

"Falk Tops Lautenschlager, Will Face Van Hollen"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:24 AM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Murtha Wins GOP Primary

Here's an oddity I found among the elections results. John Murtha won the GOP primary.

Ok, this John Murtha has nothing to do with the John Murtha wanting the U.S. to bail out of Iraq. The war probably didn't have any role in that state assembly race. Here's how Wisconsin's John Murtha responded to questions from a local newspaper:

What would your goals be if elected? What would be the main focuses of your term?

Goals: Reduce property tax, affordable health care for working families and good paying jobs for western Wisconsin.

I would focus on maintaining the quality of life in the St. Croix Valley, protecting seniors against excessive costs on prescription drugs and making this a good place to live, work and retire.


No mention of Iraq, which didn't bother me. I don't really give much credence to what either John Murtha thinks about the war.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 12, 2006

TAM Endorses J.B. Van Hollen

In a few hours the polls will close and the Wiscosin primary election season will end. The big race for me is who will be the Republican nominee for Attorney General. For Waukesha District Attorney Paul Bucher to be from the region I've seen tons of signs for former U.S. Attorney J.B. Van Hollen. That's an indication of some grassroots party support. Along with that Van Hollen has financial resources to run a formidible general election campaign. A negative is Van Hollen's habit of shooting from the hip and not better explaining himself. That's why his "terrorists in Wisconsin" quip is still following him.

Paul Bucher has been on hell of a prosecutor. His sense of justice has made him take on cases that lesser men would run away from. Think prosecuting former Packers fave Mark Chmura. But the Attorney General's office isn't about directly prosecuting criminals--unless your Peg Lautenschlager desparate for some good media.

As Daniel Suhr writes,

I think JB has the temperment and experience to serve as the state’s law enforcement leader. His service as U.S. Attorney has prepared him well for dealing with a range of cases (criminal, civil) and co-workers (sheriffs, DAs, FBI, etc).

That's not to say Bucher couldn't work with other groups. He might.

On the issues both Bucher and Van Hollen both are solid conservatives who would change state Attorney General policy for the better. With both we would see an empahsis on traditional crime fighting. We would see the end to the philosophy of policy-making-by-lawsuit that began when Jim Doyle was in office.

To end the Democrats' reign of the Attorney General's office we need a capable, conservative candidate with the resources and temperment to win over voters across the state. I am voting for J.B. Van Hollen, and I hope you will too.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 06, 2006

Doyle-Green Campaign Ad Wars

Rep. Mark Green is getting some good earned (free) media for his radio ad that plays off an old Budweiser commercial:


Jessica McBride talked about the ad for a while on her radio show tonight, and Owen Robinson thinks "it's fantastic." "Mr. Tax-Hiking Politician Man" might be the catch-phrase of the campaign even if Anheuser-Busch isn't thrilled.

Gov. Doyle already has an ad blasting Green for his "illegal" campaign money, illegal only because Doyle flacks on the Elections Board retroactively declared some of Green's money illegal. Well, he took some video from a Madison television station. The out-of-context manner the Doyle campaign used the video ticked off the station:

The clip involving NBC 15 is taken out of context, because attribution used in the story was removed.

We want to make it clear, NBC 15 objects to the use of its newscast in the Doyle ad.

However, after contacting our attorney, we have determined that, because of fair use laws, we have no legal recourse to prevent the clip from our newscast from being used in the ad.

Green is going down the Russ Feingold path of cute, funny, memorable commercials that get caught in your head and force you to talk about them at the water cooler. Doyle is airing traditional campaign commercials that bash the opponent with news media quotes and clips. For now this gives Green the advantage. He still has to introduce himself to voters outside Green Bay and the Fox River Valley. He needs a good hook. However, he can't just be known as the candidate with the funny commercials. Voters want to elect a man who will be serious when in office (and I don't mean seriously paying off his campaign contributors). With his first commercials Green is setting the hook. Eventually he'll have to reel the voters in with more substance.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 05, 2006

Mark Green's Money Machine

With the latest fundraising numbers available we know why Gov. Doyle had his flacks on the State Election Board pull a partisan, unfair, retroactive stunt on Rep. Mark Green. Green pulled in $1.39 million to Doyle's $494,000. According to Kevin Binversie Doyle's cash advantage is only $$327,380.

"Green Outraises Doyle Nearly 3 to 1"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 31, 2006

State Elections Board Raps Green over PAC Money

Rep. Mark Green got rapped by a partisan vote on the state elections board and ordered to give up $468,000 in political action committee donations he transfered from his federal campaign account to that for his race for governor.

The Doyle campaign is using the board's decision to tar Green, making him look as sleazy as Gov. Doyle. State Democratic Party chairman Joe Wineke called the contested money "dirty." The fact is Green's PAC money was legal when initially raised and legal when moved into gubernatorial account. It only broke the rules when five Democratic board members along with one libertarian decided to stick it to Rep. Green.

Republican State Senator Mike Ellis, fervent critic of campaign finances and no fan to conservatives, said the board's decision was "partisan mischief." Ellis also said, "Every action that Mark Green took from raising the money to spending it, he took according to the laws that were in effect at the time. For the Elections Board to step in at the 11th hour and in a clearly partisan act say that the rules have suddenly changed – and in effect that they should be applied retroactively – is patently unfair."

If Rep. Green's money is illegal then when will Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett be asked to return the money he transfered from his federal campaign account to his 2002 gubernatorial campaign account? At least uber-partisan Bill Christofferson is consistent.

In a memo [PDF], George Dunst, legal counsel to the State Elections Board opined that since the legislature blocked enaction of the board's attempt to prevent Green from moving federal campaign funds into his gubernatorial account, "The effect of the suspension is that Congressman Green’s campaign had the right, in the absence of a countervailing rule, to spend all of its converted money until such time that the rule went into effect."

The Wisconsin State Journal editorial board decided the GOP-controlled State Assembly was to blame for Green's predicament:

The GOP-run state Senate overwhelmingly approved SB 1 last year. Authored by Sen. Mike Ellis, R-Neenah, the bill would have created a Government Ac countability Board with members who could not be political hacks. Law school deans or judges -- rather than politicians -- would have nominate fair-minded people to the board.

Mark Green expressed support for Ellis' bill. So did incumbent Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle.

The only people who didn't want to improve the Elections Board were the ever-so-partisan leaders of the state Assembly -- Speaker John Gard, R-Peshtigo, who is now running for Congress, and his sidekick Mike Huebsch, R-West Salem.

Spouting lame excuses, these guys killed SB 1 despite broad, bipartisan support. And that left the Elections Board as partisan as ever.


That's pushing a pet issue instead of dealing with the news at hand. Democrats on the Elections Board decided a little over two months before the election to stick it to one of the governor candidates. That's a vicious political power play that would happen in a place like Louisiana not Wisconsin.

Chris at the Badger Blog Alliance is absolutely right that the governor's race is a "bar fight." Doyle could have told his cronies on the Elections Board to give Green a pass. He didn't which shows he's willing to use anything at his disposal to win re-election. Democrats on the board say they weren't told how to vote by Doyle. They didn't need to. They didn't get on the board to help Republicans. They're there to advance Democratic Party interests. Owen Robinson writes, "This ruling stinks like a corrupt political move by Doyle’s henchmen on the Elections Board to smear Green during the election."

We're almost at Labor Day when the summer unofficially ends and voters really start looking at the races and candidates. The Green campaign may fight the Election Board's ruling in court. If they do or don't Green will need money to fight all the cash Gov. Doyle and his interests will use to attack Green as "too extreme" for Wisconsin. Now's a great time to dig in your pockets and donate to Mark Green's campaign. Tell Gov. Doyle and his flacks on the Elections Board they can't stop Mark Green from getting his message out.

"Return Cash, Green Told"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 29, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #162

  • Former State Department official Richard Armitage admits to being Robert Novak's source that Valerie Plame was a CIA officer. Can we please leave Scooter Libby alone and shut down Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation?

  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board is tired of Andrés Manuel López Obrador's egotistical temper tantrum.

  • Some of Air America's highest ratings this spring were in Madison. But that only means about 13,000 people are listening.

  • Some Wisconsin farmers are experimenting by growing cigarette tobacco. Ironic since Jim Doyle as Attorney General who helped suck billions from the industry.

  • The "evil" Wal-Mart wants to push 100 million florescent light bulbs onto the American public. This will really mess with the heads of anti-Wal-Mart Lefties. [via digg]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:15 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 28, 2006

Van Hollen Crime Lab Ad

J.B. Van Hollen uses his lead in campaign funds to put out a new television ad that goes right after Peg Lautenschlager's state crime lab mess.



Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:05 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 20, 2006

Dohnal Not Backing Down on Sullivan Double Voting Charge

Bob Dohnal, long-time conservative activist and publisher of the Wisconsin Conservative Digest, is not backing down from his charge that State Senate candidate Jim Sullivan double voted in a previous election. In a letter to the editor to a local newspaper that Dohnal e-mailed TAM he writes,

To the Editor,

Since my name was included in the story about the double voting of Jim
Sullivan, candidate for the state senate, I feel it is necessary for me to
explain my involvement.

When the allegations about Donovan Riley and his double voting came out
I called Stan Zurawski and Mike Goggins to refresh my memory about the
allegations concerning the double voting of Jim Sullivan several years back.

I still was extremely unhappy about the method used by Mr. Sullivan and
his agent to serve me a letter me about the double voting. I had never met
Mr. Sullivan and barely knew of the double voting controversy. I had only
met Mr. Goggins once.

One night in March my wife answered the door and mistakenly let this
person into the house. People, never do that. He asked my wife her name,
then spotted me sitting about 50 feet in my family room. He pushed past my
wife and then handed me this letter in a very threatening manner. He did
not leave until I stood up and ordered him out of my house.

The next day I tried to call Mr. Sullivan and his attorney. Neither
would take or return my call. Several days later I finally got through and
told both of them what I thought of their tactics and what would happen if
that ever happened again. The attorney uttered an expletive and Sullivan
hung up. Later I heard that the DA had dropped the case. No surprise there
as Mike McCann never prosecutes democrats.

Everyone also knew that Sullivan was just about to get his law license
and a felony conviction would void that. Behind the scenes I am sure that
the members of Progressive Milwaukee lobbied McCann to drop it. Why both
Sullivan and his father weren't required to swear about when or if they
voted is beyond me.

In reviewing the records it became plain that Sullivan double voted in
Tosa and Whitefish Bay in 9/98. The records are very clear. Now I
understand that he is claiming that Tosa records are wrong. He is claiming
that the Whitefish Bay records are wrong in 11/96. Two wrong records, doubt
it. Three people would have to make the same mistake at both polls in two
different years and he admits that his parents were out of the country
during the 9/98 time and that he was housesitting.

As an election official in West Allis and Wauwatosa for over a decade
I had never heard of anyone getting the check marks in the wrong place.
Those elderly people that everyone is insulting do a very good job. They
are not stupid as that article suggests.

When we reviewed the records I encouraged Stan to write a letter and I
would help distribute it. He did so and I then sent it out over the email
route.

On the Belling show Mr. Sullivan vowed to take a lie detector test to
prove his innocence. I challenge him to do so immediately, I will pay for
it as long it is a reliable, licensed polygraph operator that does work for
the FBI and the police on a regular basis.

Other wise he should resign the campaign.

Sincerely yours,

Bob and Jean Dohnal
Wauwatosa, Wi. 53226

Dohnal is continuing his fight even though Sullivan's attorney Michael F. Hart threatened legal action against Dohnal in the past:

The purpose of this letter is to place you on formal notice that any further communication whether written or oral including but not limited to, the dissemination and/or distribution of campaign literature claiming that Mr. Sullivan engaged in illegal or improper conduct with respect to his voting history, place of residency and/or compliance with State election laws will be deemed actionable as knowing misstatements of fact, and we will take any and all legal action on behalf of Mr. Sullivan to enforce his rights.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Doyle Getting Indian Money

I'm shocked, SHOCKED Indian tribes have been giving to Gov. Doyle. When you hand out juicy gaming compacts the tribes get what they pay for.

Rule #1 in campaign finance reform: If government didn't have so much power people wouldn't donate to enrich themselves.

"Doyle Re-Election Coffers Flow with Tribal Money"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:17 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 19, 2006

Bucher-Van Hollen Tension Boils Over

There's a reason they invented e-mail. So participants in this conversation won't cringe when they re-read this conversation on a public weblog.

It seems the Bucher-Van Hollen aggitation is spreading from the two candidates. We've got spouses involved, supporters involved, even spouses of supporters (who are supporters themselves) involved.

Hey all, chill out--literally! It's the middle of August, and it's too warm. Everyone should grab a cold beer and relax.

As to the Bucher ad, John “Jay” Balchunas’ name is all over the newspapers. Him being murdered is a documented fact. Bucher mentioning it wasn't exploitation unless you call regurgitating the news "exploitation." Those who were griping need two beers to relax.

"Bucher Pulls Murdered Agent's Name from Ad"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:58 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 17, 2006

Paul Bucher Radio Ad Jumps on Bolton Story

State Attorney General candidate Paul Bucher released a radio ad that takes advantage of news that a backlogged state criminal lab allowed a rapist to run free eventually killing a state Justice Department agent.

In 2006 a 15-year old girl was gang raped. Anthony Bolton later took the girl in his car, raped her, then dumped her half-naked in a park. July 9, 2004 the state crime lab received DNA evidence from the victim. From Bolton's DNA already on file from a previous drug conviction the crime lab finally connected Bolton to the rape in February 2005. That was almost four months after Agent John "Jay" Balchunas was murdered.

This news is damning to incumbent Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager. She runs the crime lab. The backlog of needed DNA testing is widely known. Now, we learn her mismanagement of the crime lab allowed a rapist to run free and kill a law officer.

So while the number of cases waiting on DNA testing at the state crime lab doubled between 2003 and 2005 Peg thinks it's important to do things like prosecute a murder case in Northwest Wisconsin and run off to Hollywood to be on Tyra Banks' show.

"DNA Test Late; Man Free to Kill"

[Ad via WisPolitics]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 15, 2006

Sullivan's Supposed Double Vote

The drama behind Jim Sullivan's voting record continues. Bill Christofferson writes the accusation of Sullivan voting twice in 1996 is a pack of lies:

The charge is totally bogus, and was dismissed by the district attorney's office in 2000, when Sullivan was running for Wauwatosa alderman. (He won.)

Someone named Michael Goggins filed the complaint then, attaching the same voter lists that Zurawski is now circulating, purporting to show Sullivan voted twice.

The district attorney's office investigated and wrote Goggins on March 28. 2000 to say the office was closing the investigation and taking no action.

Why? The Whitefish Bay voter history list was unreliable, Assistant DA Kurt Benkley said.

You see, Wauwatosa Ald. Jim Sullivan, the one running for the State Senate, is James Sullivan, Jr. His father, you won't be surprised to learn, is James Sullivan, Sr.

Therein the confusion, and the conclusion by the DA that the confusion "renders Whitefish Bay voter history records as to James Sullivan, Jr. and James Sullivan, Sr. unreliable and valueless. (My emphasis.)


Ah yes, E. Michael McCann's office said there was nothing there. Therefore there was nothing there. This is the same district attorney's office that plea bargains at the first sign of prosecutorial difficulty and wouldn't go after vote fraud in the 2004 election. Steve Biskupic's U.S. Attorney's office has been doing most of the hard work.

Jim McGuigan adds quotes from letters from E. Michael McCann's office. The most interesting being the one where Michael F. Hart wrote the District Attorney's office would legally defend Sullivan, Jr. if his opponents continued to use the voting accusation. Isn't that what Sullivan, Jr. should pay his lawyers to do? I think the District Attorney's office has better things to do (like lock up criminals) than be involved in political spats. [See update below.]

In Sullivan's case I can see where sloppy record keeping could be the source of the accusation. In the Whitefish Bay voter records it lists two James Sullivans living at 627 E. Carlisle Ave. One with a birthdate of 12.26.1967, the State Senate candidate, and one with a birthdate of 10.27.1936. The younger Sullivan is listed as voting in the general election on 11.05.1996. The older Sullivan is listed as voting in elections in 1998 and 1999. It's not outlandish to conceive Sullivan, Sr. going to vote in 1998 and giving his name to the poll worker only to have the wrong Sullivan marked off. What would be very interesting is if both Sullivans had voted.

To make things a little more interesting I received a forwarded e-mail from J.J. Blonien to Stan Zurawski, Sullivan, Jr.'s accuser. Blonien claims, "Jim Sullivan Sr. was not living in the home on Carlisle during November of 1996, and that candidate Sullivan was watching his parent’s home." Where was Sullivan, Sr.? How would Blonien know this? Who's going to find Jim Sullivan, Sr. and ask him where he was on the night of 11.05.1996?

I could care less about Tom Reynolds' political future. He's a strange man with strange views. I was all set to blast the hell out of him if he killed a school choice bill last March. I'm more interested is documenting voter fraud so laws can be changed to reduce it, and those who commit it are punished.

P.S. Christofferson and McGuigan don't understand the meaning of "lie." Neither man has any evidence Owen Robinson knew he was passing on a falsehood. If the accusation isn't true the worst that can be said is Owen didn't look into the story enough and ran too soon with it. McGuigan wanted to do a little smearing of his own, and decided to bash "right wing bloggers" plural. If he wanted to really do that he should have linked to more than one right wing weblog following the story.

UPDATE: Jay Bullock, A.K.A. Folkbum, corrects me. I incorrectly claimed Michael F. Hart was a part of E. Michael McCann's District Attorney's office. He's James Sullivan, Jr.'s lawyer. So it would make sense for him to legally defend Sullivan, Jr. against false accusations.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:22 AM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

August 14, 2006

Green Ad on YouTube

I asked the campaign, and they delivered. Mark Green on YouTube.



Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

State Senate Candidate and Double Voting

First the Spice Boys found State Senate candidate Donovan Riley double voted in 2000, once in Wisconsin and once in Illinois. Now, Owen Robinson received evidence from a reader that State Senate candidate James O. Sullivan might voted twice in a 09.98 election.

Are Democrate State Senate candidates so infatuated with voting they like to do it twice? And these are just two people who got caught. How many do you think get away with it each election?

P.S. Mayor Barrett, we found your vote fraud example. He's a member of your own political party. I eagerly await you to decry his illegality and ask him to end his campaign.

"The More You Vote, the Better You Feel"

"Pattern of Dems Double Voting"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:10 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Green's First TV Ad

Rep. Mark Green has finally joined the air wars with his first tv commercial. In it he goes right at the Doyle campaign's rhetoric that Green is "too extreme."

After watching the commerical the Doyle campaign sounds like a broken record.

Dare I say it's almost Feingoldian?

[via Boots & Sabers]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2006

Eating at the State Fair

For me the whole purpose of the Wisconsin State Fair is food. For others it's their once-a-year chance to see cows, horses, chickens, and cute little bunnies. But since I grew up in a farm community I had my fill of the wonders of heifers soon into my second year of summer work on my uncle's farm. So the state fair for me is stuffing my face and wandering past the political booths.

One requirement is to have a pork chop sandwich.


porkchopsandwich.jpg

The Wisconsin pork producers didn't let me down this year. The pork was juicy, tender, and had a touch of smoke from the port-o-pit BBQ. Some BBQ sauce makes up for the lack of fat. Emeril Lagasse is right, pork fat is soooo good. Most modern pork is more healthy but too lean.

friedcheesecurds.jpg

My first experience with fried cheese curds was at the Minnesota State Fair. That's their trademark fair food. No fried cheddar goo for me since the line to this stand was too long.

creampuffline.jpg

What I will stand in line for are the world famous Wisconsin State Fair cream puffs. The line looked daunting, but it moved quickly. Within five minutes of getting into line I had my sloppy state fair tradition.

creampuff.jpg

I would have liked to wash down my cream puff with some flavored milk, but the line at Sen. Herb Kohl's milk stand was too long. I'm pretty sure the line was bipartisan. Only the wacked-out vegan anarcho-syndicalists don't like a glass of milk for a quarter.

herbkohlmilk.jpg

I won't forget to mention state fair politics. At the GOP booth it was your standard political party booth. Mark Green signs dominated with other candidates' signs playing supporting roles. At the Democratic Party booth I noticed Kathleen Falk had a great big sign with Peg Lautenschlager's sign hidden below it because it was much smaller. Should we take that as a signal of party feeling in the Attorney General's race?

One final bit of state fair politics involves the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment on November's ballot. Pflag Milwaukee bought some advertising in the expo hall.

pflagconstitution.jpg
It's a nice sentiment, but the constitution being amended is the Wisconsin one, not the U.S. constitution on Pflag Milwaukee's sign.
Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:55 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 11, 2006

Van Hollen Letter to Bucher

In an open letter to his opponent Waukesha District Attorney Paul Bucher GOP Attorney General candidate J.B. Van Hollen admits yesterday's radio debate was a disaster for both candidates. Van Hollen wants both of them to "stay united in our goal to restore focus and integrity to the office of attorney general." He wants the focus to be on what each GOP candidate can bring to the Attorney General's office instead of nit-picking about what each did or didn't do in their long law enforcement careers.

Here's the whole letter:

August 11, 2006

Paul Bucher c/o Bucher for Attorney General VIA EMAIL

Dear Paul, I think you and I can agree that yesterday’s debate did little to advance our shared goal of restoring responsible leadership to the office of the Attorney General. I know I did not appreciate being repeatedly spoken over, interrupted, and called "stupid," as I’m sure you did not appreciate my inappropriate use of the word "suck." I think its fair to say neither one of us should be proud of our performances. While we have some legitimate differences, we must stay united in our goal to restore focus and integrity to the office of attorney general. I write with the sincere hope that we can do that. We have now been together in more than 60 forums, almost all of which have allowed good, solid discussions of benefit to the voters. We will be together in several more forums and debates, including:

8/15/- Brookfield Rotary

8/15 . Marathon County forum

8/17 . Milwaukee Southwest Suburban GOP Picnic

8/27 . Dane Co. GOP Picnic

8/29 . Milwaukee County Bar Association Debate in Milwaukee

8/31 . WI Supplier & Development Council Debate in Madison

9/6 or 9/7 . Wis. Politics Debate

I propose some simple ground rules for our remaining joint forums and debates so that they can both be informative to the voters, and meet our shared goal of restoring effective leadership in the AG’s office. I propose the following for our remaining debates/formats:

1. We focus on why new leadership is needed in the AG’s office, and our own visions for what that leadership should be.

2. We agree to a fair allotment of times for exchanges, with no interruptions during the one another.s’ allotted times.

3. As we compare our respective experiences and backgrounds, we focus on what makes each of us prepared to fulfill the vision we are laying out for the office, not attacks on the preparedness of each other. We both have been in law enforcement for years, and there is plenty of good we can each say about our own varied experiences.

I hope you will join me in following these simple suggestions in our remaining discussions. I further hope our entire campaigns can be carried out in this spirit in these last days. I believe these suggestions will ultimately advance the issues we both care about, and most importantly help serve the interests of this great state. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

J.B. Van Hollen

Fellow Republican

Paid for by Van Hollen for Attorney General, Margaret Farrow, Treasurer www.vanhollenforag.com

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wisconsin Attorney General Debate

Staying up really, really late following the U.K. airline bombing story meant I slept through yesterday's Attorney General debate between Paul Bucher and J.B. Van Hollen. After listening to it (hey, Charlie get your podcast RSS feed fixed) I'm so glad Scott Walker and Mark Green aren't facing each other in September's primary. If Bucher and Van Hollen are any indication Walker and Green would have tore into each other but would have had more money so they'd do it with television and radio commercials. And Gov. Doyle would cruise to victory.

Despite both candidates saying they only disagreed with each other's management styles and issues you could feel the bad vibes between the two. That was capped by Van Hollen telling Bucher off-air that his management style "sucked." Van Hollen has apologized on his weblog saying, "I regret that I lowered myself to this level with my language choice." Bucher decided not to accept the apology.

Van Hollen has demonstrated he occasionally says wacky things. His "suck" remark goes right up there with saying earlier in the year, "We have in Wisconsin terrorists who are training and raising funds."

Bucher reinforced former governor Lee Dreyfus' endorsement that he would be a pugnacious Attorney General. Bucher verbally pushed Van Hollen on every question treating his opponent like a hostile witness. That's fine if you're a prosecutor in the courtroom, but not so good you're trying to impress voters you can run the state Justice Department.

Democrats Kathleen Falk and incumbent Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager haven't been as loud going after each other like Bucher and Van Hollen. Yesterday's debate won't hurt the GOP candidate that wins the September primary unless the animosity moves to their commercials. Then voters could have a bad taste for both Bucher and Van Hollen.

The debate wasn't as decisive as I hoped. Both Bucher and Van Hollen would make good conservative Attorneys General that would far surpass the Doyle-Lautenschlager regimes. I will take issue emphasis, character, and electability into consideration when handing out a TAM endorsement.

Here's some other blogospheric reaction:

"GOP Candidates Come out Swinging"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 09, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #151

  • That collective orgasm you heard is from the left side of the blogosphere over Ned Lamont's victory over Sen. Joe Lieberman.

  • Rep. lost again in her Democratic primary. Hopefully she calls it quits for Congressional politics.

  • Joey at Wide White sees last night's election results as "anti-incumbent" which doesn't bode well for the GOP keeping both houses of Congress. However, Lamont winning will pump up the lefty, anti-war "netroots" which forces the Democrats to explain how they'll defend the nation from Islamist terrorists.

  • The Presbyterian Church's (USA) publishing house will release a book claiming the "Bush administration planned the events of so they could provide justification for going to war in Afghanistan and Iraq."

  • Milwaukee's open-wheel car race returns to its traditional date one week after the .

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:35 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

August 08, 2006

Drinking Right Tonight

Working during the day + Drinking Right at Papa's Social Club tonight = few posts. :-(

Sorry, guys. You could always pick my brain after buying me a drink.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 07, 2006

GOP Attorney General Debate Next Week

Next Thursday's Attorney General debate will be very important. I'll be making my endorsement soon after. Misters Bucher and Van Hollen, impress me.

"Van Hollen and Bucher to Debate"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 04, 2006

Second-Annual State Fair Invasion Tomorrow

I invite all TAM readers to the Wisconsin State Fair tomorrow for the second-annual Badger Blog Alliance invasion. We'll be gathering at the microbrew tent starting at 12:30 and going until we've tried all 30 beers available at the tent or untl we've eaten too many cream puffs and cheese curds. There will be good talk, some laughs, and a few cameras for historical purposes. Hope to see you there.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

UW-Madison Flexible Silicon Research

UW-Madison's research is more than just stem cells:

The same high-quality form of silicon that is used inside many new computers could soon be rolled up on a sheet of plastic. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, have shown that the type of high-speed silicon used for the past few years in Intel's microprocessors, called "strained" silicon, can be made thin enough to be transferred to a flexible substrate.


The ability to put sheets of strained-silicon transistors on malleable materials could lead to high-quality flexible displays and solar cells -- or eventually even to improved prosthetics, or computerized clothes, according to the researchers.


I'm hoping that any businesses resulting from this research can endure Wisconsin's harsh tax climate.

"High-Performance Flexible Silicon" [via Adam Smith Institute]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 01, 2006

BBA Again Invades Wisconsin State Fair

From my BBA post:

The BBA invasion of State Fair will this Saturday Aug. 5 starting at the microbrew tent. I'll be there at 12:30 and will stay until 2:30-3:00 at the latest. This date and time are finalized, signed, sealed, and delivered. Only a Jim Doyle-size contribution will get me to change it. (I'm waiting, Potawatomi tribe.) However, if you ask me nicely I might show up on Aug. 12 because I might want a second day at the fair to see the exhibits.

To recap:

The invasion will simply be a meet-and-greet at the microbrew tent. We'll drink some of Wisconsin's finest malt beverages while putting faces to weblogs. Just stop by to say, "hi" or challenge one of us to a deep, philosophical debate on what pajamas work best for weblogging. As an incentive for webloggers and readers to show up I'll be giving away a prize for the most "interesting" food on a stick brought to the gathering. Don't worry, it won't be a cream puff.

There is also reports of wireless net access in the tent. However, I will mock those who bring a computer--unless it's one of those cool MacBooks. Cameras are more than welcome.


You can even wear "Green Team" shirts.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:09 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 30, 2006

Wandering the Wisconsin Blogosphere

Brian Fraley is a youngin' when it comes to weblogging, but his "Weekly Takes" reminds me of old school weblogs back in 1999-2000 when it was more about linking than pontificating. He wanders the Wisconsin blogosphere and offers up some goodies.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 28, 2006

Tommy Thompson Endorses Van Hollen, Bucher's Chances Severely Hurt

J.B. Van Hollen has been slowly and steadily getting endorsements from Republicans all over the state. Today, he got the biggest endorsement of them all: ex-governor Tommy Thompson:

“I am impressed with J.B. Van Hollen's track record and I'm not alone. Based on a record of excellence as a local prosecutor, the President appointed him U.S. Attorney,” said Thompson, the longest serving Governor in Wisconsin history. “We're lucky to have him running for attorney general and I'm confident J.B. will help get Wisconsin back in the right direction. I'm happy to endorse and support him.”

Getting the public backing of the biggest name in Wisconsin GOP politics is great, but even better for Van Hollen is Thompson "will hold a fundraiser within weeks for Van Hollen." Many Republicans wanted Tommy to run against Sen. Herb Kohl because they knew he could raise enough money to be competitive. Tommy directing campaign bucks at Van Hollen will really help the former U.S. Attorney and increase the financial disparity between him and his opponent Paul Bucher.

Van Hollen has tremendous momentum. From my perspective it's starting to look like an avalanche is about to bury Bucher. Thompson on Van Hollen's side will discourage GOP donors from giving to Bucher out of loyalty, trust, and a little bit of a herd mentality. With Bucher at a serious money disadvantage that will get worse he'll have to strongly confront Van Hollen on all sorts of issues and hope Van Hollen says something goofy like terrorists are running around Wisconsin.

"Van Hollen Campaign: Thompson Endorses Van Hollen for AG"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 20, 2006

Allen-Edmonds Sold to Private Equity Firm

High-end shoe maker Allen-Edmonds was sold to a Minneapolis private equity firm for more than $100 million. No jobs are expected to be cut from the Port Washington, WI plant, nor will manufacturing move overseas. The firm, Goldner Hawn, wants to turn their purchase into a "$500 million brand."

"Allen-Edmonds Fits Private Equity"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 18, 2006

Lorge Accused of Molestation

I have another reason to write in Casper for U.S. Senate.

"Civil Suit Accuses U.S. Senate Hopeful Lorge of Molesting Relative in 1986" [via Right off the Shore]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 17, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #135

  • There's something about this Israeli-Arab conflict. Arab nations like Saudi Arabia chastised Hezbollah, and the G8 said in a statement, "These extremist elements and those that support them cannot be allowed to plunge the Middle East into chaos."

  • Iran said it sees a proposal to stop their nuclear program as a place to being talks.

  • Besides MySpace Facebook is a place where unthinking people could post material they might later regret.

  • "Back to School" sales have started. Payless Shoes began on 07.06!

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 13, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #134

  • Hezbollah kidnaps two Israeli soldiers so Israel bombs the Beirut airport intensifying the Middle East situation. The Lebanese government didn't condemn Hezbollah's kidnapping.

  • How will Congress and the Bush administration figure out how to deal with Islamist detainees in the wake of Hamdan? Defense Department lawyer Daniel Dell'Orto had some great words before a Senate committee:
    "I don't want a soldier when he kicks down a door in a hut in Afghanistan searching for Osama bin Laden to have to worry about . . . whether he's got to advise them of some rights before he takes a statement," Dell'Orto said. "I don't want him to have to worry about filling out some form that is going to support the chain of custody when he picks up a laptop computer that has the contact information for all manner of cells around the world, while he's still looking over his shoulder to see whether there's not an enemy coming in after him."

  • The Russ Feingold for President campaign kisses up to Hurricane Katrina victims at The Huffington Post.

  • Ozaukee County Sheriff's Department dispatcher Christian Hill's quick thinking saved a woman from completing a suicide attempt.

  • Chicago's Olympic bid proposal has most of the events located in downtown Chicago. There goes the idea of a Midwest Olympics with Milwaukee having a role.

  • wants "forgiveness from all the children who watched" his World Cup head butt.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Campaign Oddities

Dennis York found an odd reference to Hannibal in Dan Aude's press release announcing his run for the 88th Assembly District seat:

When asked about the campaign he said, “ like Hannibal in the second Punic war with the Roman Empire, he too was out numbered in resources, but set a standard in battle tactics and strategy at Cannae” Aude was out spent by his incumbent opponent in 2004 by a ratio of 3 to 1.

“ This will be our battle cry for leadership in the 88th Assembly District in 2006, AUDE FOR 88 CANNAE!”

Aude will be wasting all his time telling his supporters how to pronounce "Cannae."

Next, we have Robert Gerald Lorge, the Republican the state party doesn't want to admit is running against Sen. Herb Kohl. Jessica McBride is the only one who's giving him any credence:

And he's at least in the ring. Conervatives have had a lot of Don Quijote pretenders, but he's the real thing. Tilting at windmills, yes, but he makes more sense on the issues than Herb Kohl does.

A candidate is strange when they put their entire resume on their campaign website. I mean the whole thing including:
Class President, St. Mary's Catholic Grade School 1973

I'm sure he has an edge on Kohl there.

Then there's the Lorge RV or the "Lorgemobile" in these parts.


lorge-rv.jpg

I checked out the Libertarian Party candidate Dave Redick, and discovered he's almost as wacked out as Kevin Barrett. From his website I "learned:"
Bush’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was primarily to get access to build an oil pipeline from Uzbekistan to a warm water port near Karachi, Pakistan (the same reason the Russians invaded in the 1980’s). This project had been delayed for many years but was suddenly approved in Dec-01.

And to think I had been fooled into thinking it had something to do with the Taliban in kahoots with Osama bin Laden.

It looks like I'll be writing in Fred.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 12, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #133

  • Robert Novak talks about Valarie Plame and Karl Rove.

  • John Dean talks about a "largely unknown 50 year academic study" claiming are "more likely to follow authoritarian leaders."

  • Patrick McIlheran points out what Venezuela is sacrificing for giving Milwaukee cheap oil and free eye surgeries.

  • The U.S. and Russia are close to a deal to bring Russia into the WTO.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Drinking Right

I missed the All-Star Game just so I could drink right with some fellow webloggers. Elliot, Casper, Cantakerous, Phelony, Josh, Nick, and Aaron (and others who I didn't yap with) were there. If you weren't too bad. Your loss. You missed out on synchonized phone cam picture taking and nail pounding (it's German so it's cool). You can make up for you shame by marking your calendar for the second Tuesday of August for the next episode of Drinking Right.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 11, 2006

Grothman Not Running Against Kohl

Sen. Herb Kohl will be running virtually unopposed--Robert Gerald Lorge and the Green Party candidate don't count. State Senator Glenn Grothman had enough signatures but didn't have the heart to throw in his hat at the very last moment:

State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) gathered enough signatures to run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl but opted not to file them today, meaning Kohl will have no significant opposition in November.

About 3,000 people signed nomination papers for Grothman, well over the 2,000 needed to get on the ballot. But Grothman said he did not believe he had a strong enough organization in place to mount a challenged against the millionaire owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Republicans had hoped to get a serious contender to take on Kohl, and turned to Grothman in recent weeks after former Gov. Tommy G. Thompson said he would not jump in the race.

Nomination papers for fall races are due today.


Grothman gets little blame. Deciding to run was a last-minute decision. He probably got an initial rush of excitement from people asking him to run. Then when it all sank in he figured he could do better things instead of the up-hill effort of an underfunded, underdog race.

No, blame goes to the state GOP and Tommy Thompson. The state party failed to get anyone to run so they waited and hoped Tommy would want to stroke his ego one more time in a state-wide race. I give the party a great, big "F." I'm hoping party chairman Rich Graber gets his Bush administration job soon. He's not useful to Wisconsin Republicans.

To those who thought no one should run against Kohl, you better hope Rep. Mark Green beats Gov. Doyle--that's the big reason you didn't want Grothman to run. Because if Doyle wins I'll be rubbing your silly political strategy in your faces.

"Grothman Won't Run Against Kohl"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #132

  • We will finally see a Presidental veto when the Senate passes a bill to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

  • Eugene Kane can't come out and say Kevin Barrett is a wacko. As he puts it, "I support the right of any teacher to conduct his class as he feels fit, within university standards." I wonder if Kane would think teaching eugenics as something good would be "within university standards."

  • With WPS buying Peoples Energy Wisconsin will lose another corporate headquarters.

  • The House of Representatives will vote on a bill to outlaw internet gambling--except for horse racing. Barbaro should be happy.

  • Tobacco use is "predicted to kill a billion people this century." This will embolden those in favor of an ever-bigger Nanny State.

  • French soccer player Zinedine Zidane was called a "son of a terrorist whore" before he headbutted an Italian player in the World Cup final.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 10, 2006

Grothman Now Undecided; Wait for the Signatures

State Senator Glenn Grothman is not looking like the most decisive person in Wisconsin. This weekend running against Sen. Herb Kohl was a "go." Now, he's not so sure. I'm going with Owen Robinson's theory about needing enough signatures. He writes,

After all, it would be pretty humiliating to announce a run for Senate on Saturday just to have to drop out on Tuesday for lack of nomination signatures.

If that's the case then Grothman's campaign manager shouldn't have blabbed about him running. Word should be spread when one's ducks are in order. with a tight deadline its better to make sure you have enough signatures to get on the ballot then get the media buzz going. Right now, Grothman is looking a little foolish. It's not a strong way to start a campaign.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:25 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #131

  • A terrorist plotter who had "had maps and bomb plans on his computer when he was arrested" studied in Canada and may have been recruited into al Qaeda while there.

  • The growing economy is bringing in surprisingly higher revenues which is lowering the budget deficit. Of course if President Bush wouldn't have signed large spending increases from a Republican Congress the deficit would be even lower.

  • India test-fired a missile of its own. Like North Korea it did do much.

  • Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro has been enduring more surgeries and infections. With all the efforts made for him his owners must expect him to make a boatload of cash as a stud.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 09, 2006

Grothman Needs Signatures

This evening I got an e-mail with a Glenn Grothman nomination paper attached. It seems Glenn doesn't have the 2000 signatures needed to get on the ballot, and he's got until 5:00 p.m. Tuesday 07.11 to get them. So there's still a possibility Sen. Kohl will run unopposed. When I hear word he's running I assume he's running and not still trying to get on the ballot. It would have been nice if Grothman would have decided to run before Independence Day when volunteers could have swarmed local parades and picnics. Here's keeping my fingers crossed he can get the signatures in time. If anyone wants the form to help collect signatures e-mail me or leave me a comment and I send it off to you.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Grothman to Challenge Kohl

My state senator Glenn Grothman will take on Sen. Herb Kohl for the U.S. Senate.

I'm glad Grothman is running. I just hope he's realistic in his chances of winning. I also hope he squeezed something out of the state GOP for being their sacrificial lamb.

Grothman in the race will do nothing to affect the GOP's chances of re-taking the governor's office or Attorney General's office. If having too many GOP candidates is a detriment we should be demanding Bucher or Van Hollen step aside and end the intra-party battle to focus completely on beating Peg Lautenschlager. A few lawn signs and bumper stickers and maybe even a television ad or two won't hurt Mark Green, J.B. Van Hollen, or Paul Bucher. It won't help either. It's a wash. No GOP candidate will win or lose because of Glenn Grothman.

This will be the fun campaign. With little chance of winning Grothman can say and do things that a more competitive candidate wouldn't for fear of losing. You can get pretty creative when you have nothing to lose. While Grothman will have to publically say he thinks he can win his real goal better be just to punch a few holes in Sen. Kohl's reputation and show his fellow Republicans they shouldn't be afraid of him.

[Cross-posted at the BBA.]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 07, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #130

  • Gov. Doyle isn't dumb enough to allow his government to ban ducky derby fundraisers. While technically illegal they'll be allowed to continue.

  • With North Korea's missile launches there's pressure on Boeing to deliver an effective missile defense system.

  • President Bill Clinton was asked about Robert Kennedy's theory that the 2004 Presidential election was stolen and said there was a "a compelling case." [via digg]

  • In the aftermath of the "cancellation call heard round the world," an AOL executive sent out some rah-rah memos to the Member Service peons--I mean employees. Notice they've been "experiencing more challenges" from customers promising to record the phone conversations. With a possible move away from subscribers and the people needed to retain them AOL may never have such an embarassment again.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:25 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 06, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #129

  • The American Specator reports government officials told NY Times and LA Times reporters their Swift stories "presented risks for three ongoing terrorism financing investigations."

  • Rick Esenberg has a great op-ed on who's to blame for Milwaukee County's financial troubles and who's playing the "role of grown-up."

  • Pepsi tipped the FBI and their biggest competitor that Coca-Cola employee's were trying to sell trade secrets.

  • "Skull and crossbones are really hot." But does anyone want a "Ralph Lauren skull and crossbones belt," a $19,385 Dior diamond-encrusted skull pendant, or "skull-decorated dinner plates?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 05, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #128

  • is missile happy, launching seven yesterday.

  • Some California (where else?) bozos celebrated July 4 with the "2nd Annual Old Time American Flag Burn."

  • Parades and politics go hand in hand except in .

  • Not only does the deep tunnel not stop the dumping into Lake Michigan but a lawsuit claims it's sinking downtown buildings.

  • government is still shut down despite a July 4 special legislative session. It's Democrat versus Democrat over a tax increase.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 03, 2006

Milwaukee Fireworks On...for Now

With possible thunderstorms tonight U.S. Bank will wait until the last possible moment to decide whether to cancel the fireworks display along Milwaukee's lakeshore. The National Weather Service forcast reads, "A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 4am." They've also issued a severe thunderstorm watch for much of Southeastern Wisconsin. I'm betting on a rain out.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 30, 2006

McGee/Jackson Keeping Name

Michael McGee/Jackson now doesn't want to change his name:

Online court records for the case show an entry from Thursday that states: "Court received call from petitioner advising that he will not be pursuing the petition for name change and will be submitting a letter to this effect." A hearing on the request is set for next week but could be canceled if the matter is dropped.

In the original court papers, McGee, 36, stated that he had always been Michael Imanu Jackson, but that the McGee name is on his driver's license, Social Security card and other forms of identification.


The alderman still needs to state whether he's been using two different names with two different Social Security numbers. He also hasn't said anything about his possible involvement in a three-car accident in 1996. Over $4000 dollars is still owed to insurance companies from the accident.

"McGee Doesn't Want Name Change After All"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #127

  • The Hamdan decision makes terrorist trials an issue for November's elections. Karl Rove is jumping for joy.

  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is giddy about the Hamdan ruling. "Today's Supreme Court decision reaffirms the American ideal that all are entitled to the basic guarantees of our justice system." That includes a member of al Qaeda, a group that doesn't abide by the Geneva Convention or the laws of war. [via Wizbang]

  • From the Obvious File: A poll shows Wisconsinites have less faith in government officals than in the past.

  • The House of Representatives voted to end an offshore drilling ban. [via Boots & Sabers]

  • New York City has its final design for the . Not bad.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:29 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 29, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #126

  • All is not horrible for Wisconsin's business climate. Direct Supply will build a new headquarters in Milwaukee with hopes of having 2000 people working there in ten years. Green Bay is getting a UnitedHealth call center employing 1000 more people. Stark Investments is opening a new office in downtown Milwaukee. [Jay owes me a nickel.]

  • The BloodCenter needs donations to relieve the blood shortage. If you're not afraid of needles like I am consider donating.

  • KISS opened its first coffee shop.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 28, 2006

Xoff Playing Race Card

Bill Christofferson complains that Rep. Mark Green's supporters are too white. Would he feel better if I started going blackface? In his "superficial racist" world the color of one's skin is more important than one's character and ideas.

[via Boots & Sabers]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 27, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #125

  • The Supreme Court struck down a Vermont campaign finance law making their approach to it even more convoluted.

  • Iraqi oil production is as high as it's been since the U.S. invasion. Expect media and Bush bashers to ignore or pooh-pooh this. [via digg]

  • A poll found most Wisconsinites don't favor the UW System's plan for "holistic admissions."

  • In Appleton you're charged a $50 fee for being warned when your grass is too long.

  • President Bush's push for the line-item veto is seen as the administration finally getting serious about runaway spending.

  • A minor league manager went nuts after getting ejected.

UPDATE: Some goofy schools have banned tag and touch football at recess in fear of kids getting hurt.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 26, 2006

Wisconsin by Steam Train

Stephen Karlson relived the old days of steam trains with a trip from Milwaukee to Wisconsin Dells and gives us some pictures.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #124

  • Rep. Peter King calls the NY Times "treasonous" for publicizing terrorist surveillance methods.

  • General Senator Feingold thinks he knows the public's will on Iraq more than most Senators. That's why his troop deadline went down in flames. He probably devined his view from his listening session--I mean Lefty pep rallies.

  • will give Bill Gates $30.7 billion to give away.

  • And the big story from Sunday's paper: Marc Marotta is more involved in state bidding than he's let on.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 25, 2006

Marotta Involved with Another Bidding Process

Marc Marotta, Gov. Doyle's former Administration Secretary and now campaign chairman, is alleged to have interfered in another state bidding contract. Spivak & Bice, who are much better investigative reporters than webloggers, have the details:

But an irate vendor, using newly discovered e-mails, is arguing in an Ozaukee County lawsuit that the long arm of Marotta reached into the bidding process for a $55 million-plus building deal awarded by the state in 2004, kicking it to a competitor.

Prism, a three-member partnership that bid on the deal, is pulling no punches in the allegation it is leveling against Gov. Jim Doyle's administration and Marotta, who left the governor's cabinet last year and is now his campaign chairman.

"The State simply opted for a Mulligan, or do-over, when the winner, Prism, was not politically popular with the person who made the key decision," Prism argues in court documents filed last week. "Such is exactly the behavior which the statutes and regulations are intended to bar."

Elsewhere in the filing, Prism charges: "It was Marc J. Marotta . . . who made the improper decision to abandon the selection of Prism."


An e-mail from a member of Building Commission member points straight at Marotta:
"Committee discussions indicate that one developer is significantly 'better' than the others," wrote Andrew Richards, finance director for UWM to Peter Maternowski, a staffer in Marotta's agency.

Richards continued, "If for some reason the Secretary's choice is another developer, I would expect that you would contact the team immediately as there would be a very large need for additional dialogue."


Put this e-mail together with the phone calls from Marotta's office to Adelman Travel during that bidding process and the idea that Marotta stayed clear of bidding processes just went up in smoke.

Since this is the Doyle administration campaign contributions are involved:

Not mentioned in the suit are campaign finance records that show execs from the eventual winning group - which didn't even compete in Round 1 of the bidding process - contributed $51,000 to Doyle's campaign, including $13,000 in the two months after the pact was awarded and $1,000 days before the final vote.

By contrast, the folks with Prism donated no money to the Democratic governor.


That's amazing. The winning bidders got in late and won the bid. It's the Doyle pay-to-play modus operandi at work.

There's no need for Rep. Mark Green to run negative ads when the the MSM does it's job and publicizes the Doyle administration's misdeeds. At this rate Team Doyle will have to start launching nuclear shots at Green just to frustrate voters. A Doyle spokesman told the Spice Boys, "Mark Green has spent his career behind a desk exchanging votes for special-interest campaign cash." The mud will be flying soon. Team Doyle can't continue to keep taking these hits in isolation.

"Marotta Intervened in UWM Project Bidding Process, Lawsuit Contends"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 24, 2006

Wisconsin Artist Win National Art Award

There's hope for the art world. David Lenz won the first National Portrait Gallery portrait competition for his photo-like painting of his son in a field.


lenz-portrait.jpg

Will realism become "cool" again? One can only hope.

"In a Father's Experience, Perfection"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:33 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

June 23, 2006

DPW: Gard Trying to "Trick" Voters

When there isn't any real news in an election it's the job of a campaign to snipe at their opponent. That's what Joe Wineke did to day in a press release attacking State Assembly Speaker John Gard:

But the families of the 8th Congressional District aren’t fooled by John Gard’s efforts to hide the fact that he lived in the suburbs of Madison until just a few months ago. While he supposedly “represented” Peshtigo in the state Legislature, Gard and his family lived in a home he bought in Sun Prairie in 1999.

Gard is obviously trying to cover up just how out-of-touch he is with the families of the 8th Congressional District, with ads that attempt to pass him off as a Northeastern Wisconsin farm boy, said Joe Wineke, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Gard can change addresses, but he can’t change an out-of-touch record that doesn’t represent the priorities of Northeast Wisconsin.


If Gard had stayed in an apartment and rarely saw his kids who stayed in Peshtigo Wineke would have issued a press release criticizing him for not making his family a priority. That's life in the tit-for-tat world of politics.

"Dems Call Gard's Farm Ad a Trick"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #123

  • Gov. Doyle leads Rep. Mark Green 49-37%. But among people who actually have an opinion of both men Green whups Doyle 52-42%.

  • Vice President Cheney doesn't seen the need for a pre-emptive strike on North Korea.

  • The state hopes to have a tiny, tiny $10.3 million budget surplus by next week.

  • The president of the WIAA asks a great question: Should schools be in the athletic business?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:07 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 22, 2006

Child Support Problems

Semi-old news is still juicy news. It seems a certain popular conservative state legislator is in a tiff with an ex-girlfriend over child support:

Rep. Frank Lasee (R-2nd) has asked to reduce the child support payments he must make for a child of his born out of wedlock to a DePere woman. A friend of the mother of Lasee's child called www.milwaukeeworld.com, with the permission of the mother, to discuss the matter. She said Lasee wrote to the mother saying that child support payments were too onerous for his modest legislative salary, to which the mother replied that the payments barely covered day care for the infant. Lasee also has not seen the child in five months, according to the caller. While the mother would like the Green Bay Republican to be a part of her child's life, Lasee, she says, is unwilling to make a commitment of his time for such a purpose. "It would take too much time and effort," he said, according to the caller.

"Rep. Lasee: Child Support is Costing Me Too Much"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #122

  • General Sen. Feingold sees the Iraq War as "fruitless."

  • Washington County board members reject asking voters if a half-cent sales tax should continue. It should no longer be called a "conservative" county.

  • Israel joins the Red Cross when the humanitarian organization allows the use the "red crystal."

  • 80-year-old Bill Wambach will try to break the national high jump record. Here's hoping he doesn't break his hip.

  • The South Park duo is working on a Mormon musical. [via Netscape]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:33 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

June 21, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #121

  • General Sen. Feingold's plan to ditch Iraq in 2007 isn't playing well with fellow Democratic Senators. Sen. Kohl doesn't back his collegue.

  • Midwest Fiber Networks has failed to do anything to cover Milwaukee in wi-fi. The Common Council voted to open up the project to other companies.

  • Technology has changed a younger generation's mores and social behaviors. Informality and individualism are the thing.

  • gets his first NBA title in only his third professional season. And I thought his triple-double against Kentucky in 2003.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:20 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 20, 2006

Local School Needs Help After Tornado

I'm quoting this letter to Charlie Sykes in its entirety:

Hi Charlie,

I am hoping you could help us out at Sycamore Tree Christian Daycare in Hartford. Sycamore Tree is next to and in the Lincoln School in Hartford, which as you know, has lost its roof. The daycare has lost its playground worth approximately $18,000. Also, as I stated the daycare had a site in the cafeteria at Lincoln School for the "school age" children, during the Summer and before and after school during the school year. They have lost all their games, books and puzzles due to asbestos contamination. Is it possible to announce that they are looking for these items for children 6-12 yrs old and possibly cash donations to replace their playground for the little children at the daycare site?

If you have any questions I may be reached at 414-507-3302 or the directors of the daycare are Becky and Amy 262-673-0161.

Thank you

Lisa Sutrick

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #120

  • General Sen. Feingold wants troops out of Iraq by 07.01.2007.

  • The National Guard has been sent into New Orleans to fight a crime spree.

  • A horde of historical documents, including a check made out by Abraham Lincoln, have been found in the vault of a Washington, D.C. bank.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 19, 2006

Nobody's Running Against Kohl

Tommy Thompson won't run against Sen. Herb Kohl. Tim Michels, who ran against Sen. Russ Feingold in 2004 won't run. State Sen. Glenn Grothman shouldn't run because it would be a waste of his time unless he really, really wants to travel the state for a lost cause. So the GOP will just have to be satisfied with fruitcake Robert Gerald Lorge (while ignoring him) and focus, focus, focus on electing Rep. Mark Green as governor.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #119

  • Wisconsin Career Academy is giving away gift cards to students based on GPA. Milwauke School Board member Jeff Spence said, "Poor kids or students from challenging backgrounds need not apply. That's troubling." He assumes poor kids are stupid and incapable of high GPAs.

  • People are complaining about possible pool closing. Blame Tom Ament.

  • President Bush's tough talk is just what's needed to challenge Islamist honor culture.

  • The chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court is suing a newspaper and columnist for defamation.

  • In Colorado girls need only be 12 and boys only 14 to enter into common-law marriages.

UPDATE: Brian Fraley can use these too since he'll be filling in for Jay Weber on WISN tomorrow morning.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 18, 2006

Tornado Touchdown in Hartford

This


hartfordtornado.jpg

Was less than 10 miles from my house. I was safe and sound at the bookstore when the tornado went through Hartford. Thankfully only one person is known to be in the hospital.

"Tornado Roars Through Hartford"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Troubles at the Sheperd-Express

Conservatives don't take the Shepherd-Express seriously because of its outrageous content. Lefties won't like it for the way some of it's former writers claims they treated employees.

Who's going to read that rag other than those lonely men who need a new 1-900 number?

"Dave Berkman Calls out a Liberal Hypocrite"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Can't Afford Free Pool Admissions

Milwaukee County is under financial crisis. So what does the parks department do? Offer free admission to some of their swimming pools:

To mark their season opening today, Milwaukee County's pools will let kids 11 and under into all pool facilities other than the Cool Waters complex free of charge.

That's on top of the money-making Cool Waters having a free day last Memorial Day weekend. I don't want to hear anymore complaining by parks director Sue Black. She obviously thinks her budget is fine enough to toss around free days left and right.

"Feel Like Smacking Yourself in the Head?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 17, 2006

Not Cut Out for Weblogging

Some people need editors. They can't simply pump out some words and put them out for the world to see without looking foolish. Spivak & Bice are two of them. Their sad excuse for a weblog hits a new low when they mistake the National Journal for National Review not once, not twice, but three times. Three times isn't a charm for these two. They must not get out much onto the big, bad internet. National Journal covers Washington, D.C. with a fine tooth comb with a nonpartisan approach while National Review is the flagship publication of the modern conservative movement. It's the subscription-only Hotline political tipsheet versus NRO's The Corner which is free but asking for donations. That should be enough help for the Spice Boys.

"Endangered Politicos' List"

UPDATE: I should have taken a screen shot. The post has been updated without any mention of a correction. I don't think that's how things operate with the dead tree addition.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 16, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #118

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:45 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

June 15, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #117

  • Sen. Joe Lieberman is taking so much flack from Lefties he might run as an independent.

  • This is how screwed up is: the foreign minister came from abroad with $20 million in his suitcase to pay the bills.

  • The thin-skinned Iranians have banned The Economist for not properly labeling the .

  • When it comes to capital punishment China is moving away from firing squads to mobile "."

  • CBS News has had enough of .

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 14, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #116

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 13, 2006

Juror Speaks on Thompson Trial

Jessica McBride interviewed Marvin Bizzelle one of the jurors in the Georgia Thompson case. It is quite a look into one man's perception of Gov. Doyle's administration. He completely discounts the Democratic Party's talking points which claim that Thompson was a "lone gunman" acting alone.

The juror said that all of the jurors agreed that people above Georgia Thompson were involved in the scheme.

"Yes, there was no doubt about that. Someone above her was involved in it, but they know how to keep their hands out of it so they don't get charged with it," he said. "We all felt there was pressure. It was her job to resist that."


...
Asked if he believed that Gov. Jim Doyle and former DOA Secretary Marc Marotta were involved in the scheme, Bizzelle said "yes." He said that, "There was testimony brought out that Marotta had talked with Adelman a couple of times and the governor went to a party. You know, money runs through politics. "

Asked specifically if he believed that Doyle was involved, Bizzelle stated: "He wasn't clean, there was no doubt about that. There were insinuations. He had to know something." But he said he believed "Doyle kept his hands clean."

He said, "Well, let's put it like this. You know about political pressure. These people are donating to me, so they are my buddies. I am not saying that's what happened. It's a good example of indirect pressure. "


...
Asked if he thought that the campaign contributions played a role in Thompson's actions, he replied, "yes."

McBride sums it up:
[H]is comments do present a revealing contrast with Doyle's extensive interview with the media, in which the governor stated that Thompson acted alone and higher ups had nothing to do with it. This juror listened to all of the evidence and he drew the conclusions you see above.

Politically this is damaging to Doyle's re-election campaign. When a group of citizens were presented with testimony and evidence they determined political pressure was present even if not explicitly stated. Call it distrust/cyncism with politics in general--the Culture of Corruption taints all parties--or additional evidence of Doyle's pattern of unethical behavior. A campaign is on shakey ground when presenting facts before voters garners such a negative reaction.

The great thing about this for Congressman Green's campaign is they don't have to do a thing. They can simply talk to voters and let Doyle hang out in the wind without them running a single negative ad. Doyle is taking hits, but they don't have to pay a penny.

That's not to say the election is over. We have five months to Election Day. There's no telling what counter-attack Doyle with think up or what events and issues will come up. We know Doyle took a hard hit to the gut.

"My Interview Tonight with Travelgate Juror Marvin Bizzelle: 'We all felt there was pressure'"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Send Xoff a Case of Rolaids

Bill Christofferson isn't in a good mood post-Georgia Thompson verdict. He calls all us right-wingers "neocons" (funny, I didn't know I was Jewish). Then he goes on to yammer:

I can imagine the well-reasoned responses to this post already: "Doyle flack!" "Apologist!" "Water carrier!" And worse. Have at it. So's your old lady.

It sounds like someone was popping the antacid early this morning. His eyes were probably bulging. His bottom lip pouted out. His nostrils flared. His hair disheveled. He probably called up the Doyle campaign and screamed at a few low-level staffers. Then he quotes Democratic Party/Gov. Doyle's office talking points because he's in no mood for a daunting attempt to convince us Thompson was the proverbial "lone gunman."

"FAQ in the Case"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #115

Georgia Thompson's conviction will take up most of the show, but here are a few items should Charlie need a little change of pace:

  • With the hype over Ann Coulter what will happen when Markos "" Moulitsas' words get mainstream coverage?

  • The president of the had to explain why the union is shrinking and what should be done about it.

  • The new thing involving kids and drugs: "."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thompson Convicted

Georgia Thompson was found guilty of fraud in driving a state travel contract to a political donor of Gov. Jim Doyle. The prosecution didn't attempt to prove a pay-for-play scheme involving minions of Doyle or the governor himself. They argued "Adelman Travel would not have gotten the contract if Thompson had not illegally inflated the firm's scores." Witnesses said Thompson wasn't happy when Omega World, a competitor to Adelman, got a higher initial score. Travel consultant Ian Thomas testified Thompson told him she didn't know "how I'm going to tell my bosses it's not Adelman." If Thompson's job and future didn't depend on who got the travel contract why did she fight so hard for Adelman? Why did she tell Bridget Nettesheim, a member of the committee, "It wouldn't fly. Politically it wasn't what needed to happen?"

Let me speculate that Thompson isn't that smart when it comes to political intrigue. She did give a few witnesses the impression something was up. Committee member Frank Kooistra testified he thought Thompson liked the "best and final offer" idea because she wanted the committee "to select Adelman as the agency of choice." She might have thought she could survive a trial instead of rolling over. The prosecution got its conviction. Now, they will use sentencing as a lever to get Thompson to talk. What she divulges, if anything, could decide the governor's race.

Federal prosecutor Steven Biskupic is the least political prosecutor I've seen in a while. He said the case was about "Georgia Thompson and Georgia Thompson alone." He also said, "I don't want people to read too much into it, other than we are trying to be careful in what we do." Biskupic is a man who could have led a highly-partisan investigation into Milwaukee voter fraud using it as a weapon in Republicans' favor. Obviously he's a Republican and/or conservative (federal prosecutors are political appointments) but his demeanor is reserved. I see the federal bench in his future.

As for Gov. Doyle's future, that's murkier. What is with the calls from former Department of Administration Secretary Marc Marotta's office and Adelman during the "best and final" offer phase of the bidding? The current chairman of Gov. Doyle's campaign hasn't offered an explanation. Doyle won't surrender campaign contributions from Adelman executives because "Georgia Thompson acted on her own and that no other state employee was involved."

Now for some blogosphere reaction:


  • No Runny Eggs: "Nice knowing you, Craps."
  • Chris at the Badger Blog Alliance: "Will Georgia Thompson be Jim Doyles Henry Hill? As others have stated she is a 56 year old woman looking at doing 20 years of Federal Time."
  • Owen Robinson: "The investigation and the charges showed that Thompson violated the law by rigging the bid process. Nobody ever explained why. That’s the elephant in the room that Doyle wants everyone to ignore."

"Official Convicted in Deal"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 12, 2006

Intruder's Unique Choice of Weapons

How would you like to wake up to this:

Leisa K. Reed, 47, was charged with two felonies, armed burglary and second degree recklessly endangering safety and four misdemeanors, battery, intentionally mistreat an animal, resisting an officer and bail jumping.

A Waukesha couple woke up about 4:40 a.m. Sunday when their small dog was barking in the kitchen. The female homeowner found the stranger in her kitchen, swinging the pooper scooper, threatening to kill them and kicking the dog, Capt. Mike Babe said.

The female homeowner screamed and her husband then came into the kitchen.

Reed is accused of striking the man in the head with the pooper scooper. He knocked it out of her hand and then noticed she had scissors.

The man struggled with the woman while his wife called police.


Police tasered Reed with no effect and ended up putting "their weight on the woman to take her into custody."

"Charges in Pooper Scooper Attack"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #114

  • Businesses are failing to find skilled workers. It will only get worse as retirements increase demand.

  • with armor upgrades may be doing more harm than good.

  • called the airstrike on Zarqawi a "barbarity."

  • The American Medical Association wants to expand the Nanny State by calling for a .

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 09, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #113

  • A report says Wisconsin has enough and transmission lines. I'll wait until the first heatwave to confirm that.

  • The wonderfully undiplomatic John Bolton took on a U.N. official who insulted Middle America.

  • Terrorists are dropping like flies. Israel wacked a Hamas thug.

  • U.S. applications rose 18%.

  • The case opens a new door into baseball's dirty secrets.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:07 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 08, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #112

  • The Republican wins the the special Congressional election by 4% and the San Francisco Chronicle calls it a "narrow victory."

  • A official whined on Tuesday that "Much of the public discourse [about the U.N.] that reaches the U.S. heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News."

  • A new study finds Milwaukee's residency requirement for teachers hurts the schools. The teacher's union is for nixing it.

  • Congressmen Sensenbrenner and Green both see the state Elections Board violating federal law by allowing a portion of firt-time voter's Social Security number to be used when registering.

  • The pregnant seeks a divorce. [Now, my Britney Spears quota has been filled for the year.]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 07, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #111

  • Michael McGee/Jackson is caught in another lie. One of his aids, Manquis Daniels, was charged for possessing marijuana. McGee/Jackson said he stopped working for him last Friday, "but City Clerk Ron Leonhardt said Daniels was still on the payroll Tuesday."

  • 20% of the spending on the project has gone to minority-owned firms. One way the Department of Transportation did this is by breaking down bigger contracts into smaller ones. There's no questioning of if this was the most cost-effective. It may have been. But diversity might have trumped economics with heavily-burdened taxpayers paying the feel-good bill.

  • Harvard University will being the barbaric practice of harvesting from human embryos.

  • The Senate is set to debate a bill creating a race-based government in Hawaii.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 06, 2006

No Pity for Racine Taxpayers

If you ever hear someone from Racine complain about taxes being too high have them explain why they keep the school district pick their pockets:

Voters tonight passed a $6.45 million one-year spending referendum. About fifty-four percent of those voting approved the request for more money, 46% rejected it. The vote was 10,413 to 8,920.

The referendum proposal is the same amount and duration as an expiring spending referendum, and helps plug a projected $9 million hole in the 2006-'07 budget. District officials recently revealed that $3.3 million of the gap was due to an accounting miscalculation.


Admitted financial mismanagement couldn't persuade voters from turning off the spigot. They're hopeless.

"Racine Voters Back More School Spending"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Charlie's Show Prep #110

  • The school referendum will go down in flames now that voters know the district can't maintain their books.

  • George Will on 25 years of in the U.S.: "Human beings do learn. But they often do at a lethally slow pace."

  • Peru's newly elected president is a snub toward .

  • wants to use a Wall Street Journal editorial as evidence against Scooter Libby.

  • The paper ticket will soon be an artifact.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:36 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 05, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #109

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 03, 2006

Exhausted

Who would think eating grilled meat, drinking beer, and talking about whatever came to mind would make me so tired. Being in a great park on a beautiful day talking with smart, cool people had a lot to do with it. That and we had a Dennis York sighting.


dennisyorksighting.jpg


The sock puppet really is dead.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 02, 2006

Explain This to Me

Why did I waste my time reading Dave Begel tell me, "Explain This to Me" ten times?

"Begel Ponders Some of the Imponderable Mysteries of Sport"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:49 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Spinning the Bookmobile

WISN's Early Spin also gave Mayor Barrett the Bookmobile dig. The idea of giving away Brewers tickets to stop crime is lame and deserves ridicule, but the Bookmobile doesn't have books anymore. Therefore it isn't the Bookmobile. It's called a "mobile community substation" whatever that is. Mock that because...

In the mobile police station, officers would be joined by representatives of other government agencies, schools and community organizations offering services to help people improve their neighborhoods and reduce crime.

If I were mayor I'd load it up with more cops. But then I'm one of those tough-on-crime, go-after-the-bad-guys, law-and-order conservatives who hate black people--especially the McGee/Jacksons.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 01, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #108

  • A study accuses Wisconsin of cheating on standards. According to the Department of Public Instruction 99% of teachers are "highly qualified."

  • The only job markets worse than Milwaukee are New Orleans, Gulfport-Biloxi, MS, and Detroit. Detroit is...well...Detroit. And the first two are still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. What's Milwaukee's excuse?

  • The Army Corps of Engineers admits New Orleans' levees were a "catastrophic failure."

  • John Jones is the new president. This is the first step in replacing Bob Harlan. What direction will he take the team? What is his philosophy in bringing a championship back to Title Town?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:25 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Sex and the CoB

Sex and the Mil-town hosted this week's Carnival of the Badger. Yours truly forgot to submit anything. Me bad. Truly had fun with what little she had to work with.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

McBride Biffed It

Last night, Jessica McBride wrote,

Mayor Barrett and Police Chief Hegerty are dispatching the bookmobile to high crime areas to combat the rash of shootings. I am not making this up.

You'd think the bookmobile was being sent as a diversion so potential criminals would read instead of commit crimes. That would be a stupid idea. But that's not the case at all:
The stepped-up police presence would be bolstered by a "mobile community substation" that would be based in the vehicle once known as the Bookmobile. The longtime library on wheels was mothballed by budget cuts this year.

McBride should be happy. The former bookmobile will supporting an increased police presence.

I'm waiting for her clarification.

"More Police for High-Crime Areas Top Anti-Crime Efforts"

[Hat tip to DJ for being skeptical.]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:00 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

MPA Wants McCann Gone

The Milwaukee Police Association wants District Attorney Michael McCann gone after his handling of the Alfonzo Glover case along with "additional investigations of police officers which (McCann) has handled, and is currently handling."

This is not surprising. McCann hasn't offered an explanation for why he went against the inquest's determination and charged Glover with murder while accepting scores of previous inquest decisions in police shooting.

"MPA Calls for McCann's Resignation"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Spring Fling 2006

Hey Wisconsin webloggers, weblog readers, politicians, assorted media types not embarassed to hang out with the unwashed masses, and new media anthropologists Saturday is the Wisconsin Blogosphere Spring Fling. It's an excuse to get away from our computers (no wi-fi in the great outdoors), eat, drink (Leinie's of course), and meet the assorted ruffians that make up the Wisconsin blogosphere. It's at Nagawaukee Park in Waukesha County starting at noon. Bring your own food (grills will be provided) and drink (nothing stronger than beer and wine coolers). Lefties, Righties, Howard Deaniacs, and Pat Buchananites are all welcome. Even Xoff can come.

"3 Days Until the Greatest Event in the History of Wisconsin"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

No New Taxes. Not Even for Culture

Here's a new idea that should be DOA: a seven-county sales tax for cultural attractions. The new tax would pay for the Milwaukee County Zoo, the Milwaukee Public Museum, and other cultural institutions. It sounds sort-of good at first. Backers see it as only being a small tax of 0.01%--one cent for every $10 spent. But it's a tax that's bound to grow. Even before it's enacted Mayor Tom Barrett wants it to cover "City of Milwaukee police and fire services, Milwaukee County parks and various regional transit needs." That already sounds like something higher than 0.01%. Like any tax it will grow and grow. A new special interest will have been created who will tell us the "sky is falling" and culture in Milwaukee will be doomed in the tax isn't raised. Rarely do taxes die. Once in place we're stuck with them.

Mayor Barrett is politically astute enough to not "see an appetite in this community for any increased taxes," but that isn't stopping him from looking at ways to do it.

The problem with government isn't a lack of revenue. We're taxed too much. Wisconsin's total tax burden [PDF] is 32.2%. That's twelth-highest in the nation. The problem isn't a lack of tax dollars.

This idea was "wacky" when Dan Finley quasi-proposed it last year. Time hasn't made it anymore sensible.

"7-County Sales for Cultural Sites Pushed"

UPDATE: Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker both get it.

McReynolds:

I’m a firm believer in genuine regional cooperation, but this isn’t cooperation—it’s picking the pockets of the other six counties.

Walker:

[M]ost people believe that the government already takes too much money from them. I agree. Just look at my second point. If our fringe benefit rate was closer to 30%, we could do a great deal more in the parks. Giving the government the funds from a new tax without fixing the core of the problem just makes it worse in the future.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:53 AM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #107

  • The Milwaukee Common Council upheld Mayor Barrett's veto and killed the electric choo-choo.

  • Here's a report from two days after the riot.

  • A freaky wife killer wants Massachusetts to pay for his operation.

  • has been cleared of doping charges.

  • : gloriously psychotic. "My confidence level is insane." That's not the only thing insane. [via Grandpa John's]

  • is retiring. Don't worry. The new one will be announced later this month. [via TBIFOC]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:16 AM | Comments (16)

May 31, 2006

Bookmobile vs. the Bad Guys

I know Reading is Fundamental but this is ridiculous.

"I Don't Know Where to Laugh or Cry"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:45 PM | Comments (2)

Candidates Pounce on Inactive Lautenschlager

Attorney General candidate JB Van Hollen jumps on Peg Lautenschlager for being silent after Milwaukee's violent Memorial Day Weekend:

She's AWOL on fighting violent gun crime in Wisconsin's largest city.

Apparently, Peg Lautenschlager is too busy suing law abiding farmers in northern Wisconsin and fighting the EPA, Department of Education and FDA to actually focus on fighting crime in the highest crime area of the state.

We need more than a long-term action plan, though; we need to do something now.

Fellow GOP candidate Paul Bucher went after both Lautenschlager, Gov. Doyle, and dawdling local officials:

Doyle has been too busy to focus on the 28 shootings in Milwaukee over the past few days, I suppose, since he's been wasting time vetoing reasonable pieces of legislation (including one requiring verification of citizenship to get state benefits) and he's been too busy dodging questions about why the man he named Parole commissioner released two cop killers.

As for Lautenschlager? She's been too busy filing her frivolous lawsuits against legislators, cranberry growers, the FDA, you name it.

And on the local level, officials are convening task forces to "study" the issues rather than going after the criminal element in a serious and aggressive manner like they are down in Chicago right now. In Milwaukee, the locals are shooting down common sense gang loitering ordinances that would give police the tools they need to preserve the quality of life for the law-abiding citizen.

" Needs to Fight Real Crime"

" and Doyle AWOL on Gun Violence"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #106

  • No surprise from the Journal Sentinel editorial board. They think more gun laws and jobs for inner city kids will prevent murders. Suburban kids have all sorts of "connections." I guess they're connections if that's what you call going down to McDonalds and applying. They don't mention concealed carry, the culture of "stop snitchin'" and briefly mention the role of parents.

  • Congressman is on the wrong side of the Jefferson raid.

  • is cracking down on dissident webloggers.

  • AlGore calling anyone an "extremist" definitely brings to mind something about a kettle and the color black.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:38 AM | Comments (15)

May 30, 2006

Accused Milwaukee Cop Commits Suicide

Officer Alfonzo Glover who was charged with "first-degree intentional homicide in the March 2005 death of Wilbert Javier Prado" posted $25,000 bail, went home, then killed himself.

Patrick at Badger Blogger and Phelony Jones wonder if District Attorney E. Michael McCann charged him to improve his standing with some in the public. This is man who only charged one cop in a fatal shooting during his 37 years in office.

McCann has blood on his hands. He has some explaining to do.

"Officer Charged in Murder Takes Own Life"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:54 PM | Comments (9)

Charlie's Show Prep #105

  • UW officials used some hardball to try to get a sponsorship out of U.S. Bank.

  • Ricardo Pimentel and the gang think is a victim.

  • By jacking up taxes MATC is making it easier to require the board be filled with elected people.

  • There may be an lost manuscript of Jane Eyre floating around. Letters indicate Charlotte Bronte edited it because of a libel charge.

  • Perfectly grown men are beating each other up. It's a real life Fight Club.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:56 AM | Comments (2)

May 28, 2006

Milwaukee's Parks Problems

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an article about the fiscal troubles with the Milwaukee parks system. Blame Tom Ament for putting county employee pensions and benefits ahead of maintaining the parks. This is how bad it's gotten:

Consider: Though parks staffing has fallen by two-thirds since 1986, fringe benefit payments have nearly doubled the last 10 years and are now at $6.5 million of a $37 million parks budget. The hypergenerous pension and sick-leave deal of 2000-'01 and skyrocketing retiree health insurance costs factor in.

The problem isn't too few taxes. Milwaukee residents are taxed way too much. The problem is irresponsible past decisions that are hanging around the necks of County Executive Scott Walker and the County Board.

There's mention of closing down little-used pools, opening waterparks to increase revenue, renting out space to business and special events, and increasing private donations. I'd feel more sympathy with Parks Director Sue Black but Fox 6 news reported last night there was free admission yesterday to the Cool Waters waterpark in Greenfield Park. Yesterday was the warmest day of the year so far. There was no need to get people out to the park. That was a lost opportunity to get some much-needed revenue.

"County Parks Sinking Fast"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:54 AM | Comments (3)

May 26, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #104

  • Michael Jackson is headed for Tokyo. That's why he needed to get a passport. Wait...wrong .

  • Speaking of , he declared, "Given my recent arrest in civil court, I believe there is less than equal protection under the law for elected officials." I agree. Judging from Lee Holloway's slap on the wrist elected officials get treated less harshly.

    Then there's the record of a Michael I. Jackson involved in a car accident in 1996. That person never paid his $6000 judgement. McGee/Jackson says, "I don't have a record of consistently using that name" and "I don't recall that." Odd responses, but this is Alderman Thriller we're talking about.

  • Someone from sent some nasty hate mail to a weblogger. Yes, that media bias. [via In the Bullpen]

  • President Bush sealed Congressman 's files taken by the FBI last weekend. Congressman will hold hearings next week on the FBI raid.

  • Wacko British member of parliment George Galloway told GQ it would me "morally justified" for a suicide bomber to kill Tony Blair. Galloway happened to profit from the Iraq Oil-for-Food scandal.

  • A million people are expected at 's mass in Warsaw.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:28 AM | Comments (17)

May 25, 2006

Two-Way Ron

Congressman Ron Kind's constituent service made a boo-boo. A banker sent him a letter on a bill taxing credit union and got two different responses. Joey at Wide White writes,

He holds small community banks "in the highest regard," but he is also "opposed to taxation of credit unions" because those same small banks are "focusing on maximizing profits."

Let's go play a game of politics with Ron Kind!

Something doesn't smell right.


Kind's GOP opponent is .

"Two Letters. Different Opinions. Same Consituent. Oops!"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:54 PM | Comments (1)

"Off the Wall"

Alderman Thriller pumped out a press release. And I'm here to fisk it:

Although I know “Thriller” is considered the top-selling album of all time, I want to make it clear that I am not trying to change my legal name to “Michael Jackson” (as some people have been led to believe).

Only morons who can't read a newspaper article think McGee/Jackson wants the name of the disgraced pop star. The Journal Sentinel article was pretty clear in telling us what is going on.
I am trying to legally change my name to Michael Imanu McGee because I would like to obtain a U.S. Passport for international travel. However, I’ve had difficulties doing this because when I was born, my father was using his birth name, Michael Jackson, so the last name on my birth certificate is “Jackson.”

The reason for the name change makes sense. Too much sense for a race-baiting, rabble-rouser like McGee/Jackson. Where does he want to go? What does he plan to do? I'll take a flier: he'll soon announce he's converted to Islam and wants to go to Mecca.
I was born when my father was serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. After my father returned home from the war, he was adopted, and then started using “McGee” as his last name because it is the last name of his adoptive father. In turn, I was then given the McGee last name, as well, and have used it ever since.

Owen Robinson caught the whopper right away:
How did his dad “get adopted” after returning from Vietnam? Did his dad go into the Army at age 12, or did someone adopt a 25 year old man? Or, as is most likely the case, is McGee/Jackson lying again?

Let's continue:
Again, I have been told by federal authorities that because my last name does not match the last name on my birth certificate, I must have my name legally changed to McGee to meet the legal requirements that will allow me to get a U.S. Passport.

I wonder if a passport-seeking McGee/Jackson will be considered a flight risk in his upcoming hearing for threatening his ex-lover in court.

For more Patrick at Badger Blogger has a bad photoshop (but it feels so right) and McGee/Jackson admitting to a tryst he earlier denied.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:19 PM | Comments (1)

A Question about Michael McGee/Jackson?

Whatever the alderman's name is I wonder if Michael McGee/Jackson really is Michael McGee, Sr.'s son. Who is his mother? The Jackson had to come from somewhere--maybe from "Thriller's" warped mind.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:27 AM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #103

  • Both Congressman Mark Green and Gov. Jim Doyle both voiced displeasure at the UW System's new admissions policy. There's goes that as a campaign issue. UW president David Walsh supports "holistic review" but wishes it was stated to the public better. It would be even better if it was called what it really is, race-based admissions.

  • The Michael McGee Jackson continues. He wants to legally change his name to . The name might explain the weirdness. There's something about people named Michael Jackson. And another thing, McGee/Jackson says he doesn't have a birth certificate. There are also rumors he came from a cabbage patch.

  • The of America has a cost. "Accidental overdoses and side effects from attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder drugs send about 3,100 Americans -- 80 percent of them children -- to hospital emergency rooms annually, a federal survey has found."

  • The Pentagon is scared of . To me it looks like a rising economic power building its military to protect its growing energy needs. The close economic linkages between the U.S and China mean the Dragon can't afford to go to war with us. Islamism is the most pressing national security threat.

  • became a rare IPO to go down. It may be a sign of bad economic times or the company went public too late. I'm betting the latter.

  • Two teens were arrested for trying to extort $150,000 from .

  • A Gary, IN student was barred from his prom.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:13 AM | Comments (2)

May 24, 2006

Tim, Make a Decision

Tim Michels as a Tommy Thompson-like pol who likes his ego stroked? That's what Deb Jordahl thinks,

Having said all that, Tim Michels should realize that his fifteen minutes of fame are just about up, and he’d better use it or lose it. Michels needs to stop playing cat and mouse with the Republican Party just to keep his name in the press. If he wants a future in Republican politics, Michels should get off the sidelines and use his popularity to help Mark Green, Paul Bucher or any number of vulnerable legislative candidates throughout the state.

I'm still mad at him for how badly he ran his general election campaign against Sen. Feingold in 2004. Still, he could do much to build up his image with Republicans and conservatives. Deciding to run or not run against Sen. Kohl, regardless of what Tommy Thompson does, would be helpful.

"Tim Michels Should Use it or Lose it"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:24 PM | Comments (2)

Charlie's Show Prep #102

  • No longer will good grades, test scores, or class rank assure you of a play in a UW school. It's all about "holistic review" which is a edu-crat buzz word that means race and ethnicity. The days of simply filling out a one-page college application are no more.

  • MATC thumbs its nose at by raising its tax levy 5%. Look for calls to make vocational school boards elected positions.

  • released its annual report and demonstrate they ignorance of a war going on around them.

  • Next month's Lefty convention YearlyKos has a commercial. Here's a deconstrution. I noticed a voice saying, "Politics concerns everything that you do. Everything that happens in your life is political." It's the "personal is political" for a new generation.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:00 AM | Comments (1)

May 23, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #101

  • Wisconsin is the #1 -producing state for the 50th year in a row.

  • Big Labor is imploding. Another union ditches the .

  • Dick Morris sees as the key to President Bush's political revival.

  • Palestine creaks toward civil war. and Fatah forces battled it out in Gaza City.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:27 AM | Comments (6)

May 22, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #100

  • Drudge reports Howard Dean, M.D. secretly tried to defeat New Orleans mayor . Chalk up another Dr. Dean failure.

  • A Louisiana Congressman got caught on videotape taking a $100,000 bribe. He then hid the loot in his freezer.

  • Many illegal aliens caught are released due to lack of funds.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:57 AM | Comments (1)

May 20, 2006

NRA Takes on Doyle

It sounds like there was a little more political passion in Milwaukee at the NRA meetings than at the state GOP convention in Appleton. In Milwaukee "Dump Doyle" signs were everywhere. In Appleton we got stuck with Tim Michels doing bad comedy.

"'Dump Doyle' Resounding Cry as Convention Opens"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:18 AM | Comments (1)

May 19, 2006

Tim Michels Considering Senate Run

The Wisconsin GOP needs someone, anyone to run against Sen. Herb Kohl. When no one, not even Tommy Thompson who has the Badger State's biggest ego, will jump at the challenge go for a past loser. Tim Michels who ran a miserable general election against Sen. Russ Feingold two years ago is considering running again. WisPolitics interviewed State GOP chairman Rick Graber:

Ross: Have you talked to Tim lately, you know, about running for U.S. Senate?

Graber: Sure.

Ross: How are those conversations going?

Graber: Tim is very interested in the prospect. Certainly, as long as Tommy Thompson’s in the picture, it’s going to stall any final decisions. He knows the challenge. But, I think he’s interested. I think he’s interested. But it would have to be a different sort of campaign, a much shorter campaign, a more intense campaign. But, I like the political environment in the state of Wisconsin, notwithstanding all that’s going on nationally and all that you hear about problems for the Republican Party. I think things look very good in the state of Wisconsin for a very good year.

Ross: What kind of things would Tim have to do differently? What kind of campaign would Tim have to run against Herb Kohl? It’s now the middle of May, We’re talking six months.

Graber: A much shorter campaign. There obviously would be far less of a primary situation like we had a couple of years ago. I think the fact that it’s not a presidential year is an advantage for a challenger. If you think back a couple of years, this state was so dominated by the presidential election with all the ads and the presence of the candidates seemingly every single day. I think that the United States Senate race got in fact overshadowed. I think Russ Feingold ran perhaps his best campaign last time. But I think that whole Senate race got lost in the presidential domination.


Later, Graber goes goofy:
Ross: A big-time campaign and big-time money; does Tim Michels have that right now? Does he have the capability to do that?

Graber: I think he’s got the capability, sure, sure. And certainly a lot of that would have to come from personal resources. And certainly the national senatorial committee is interested in both Tommy Thompson and Tim Michels, as they are both well known. If either one of them were to jump into this race, I think that all of a sudden Wisconsin would become a very targeted state.

But the national folks, the national committee is very focused on retaining Republican control of both the Senate and the House. You get a big-name candidate like that, I think they’d pay attention.


With the GOP potentially losing both the House and Senate the "national folks" won't be wasting money on either Michels or Thompson against Kohl's fat wallet. Graber's living in la-la land.

"Interview with State GOP Chair "

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:06 PM | Comments (2)

Offshore Oil Drilling Vote Count

Kudos go to Representatives Mark Green, Jim Sensenbrenner, and Paul Ryan for voting to open up more of the U.S. coast to oil drilling. To the rest of Wisconsin's House delegation: you have no integrity when talking about high gas prices.

UPDATE: Aaron @ Subject to Change humorously asks when drilling begins off Chicago. It won't happen because Great Lakes oil drilling was banned last year.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:41 AM | Comments (2)

Mayor Barrett, Read the Damn Bill

Yesterday, instead of welcoming the NRA and its thousands of supporters to Milwaukee Mayor Tom "I am a Freedom Fighter" Barrett complained the civil rights organization--which the NRA is--opposes the government sharing gun trace information with among law enforcement by supporting H.R. 5005. Too bad that's not true. Read page 8, section 9.

"Lies from the Other Side"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #99

  • Any Congressman who voted to continue the ban on offshore drilling should never, ever complain about gas prices.

  • The Senate voted to let collect Social Security from their illegal jobs.

  • Spivak & Bice dig into a local Islamic leader.

  • is using riot police to quell protesters who are defending an independent judiciary.

  • What would do?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:57 AM | Comments (4)

May 18, 2006

McGee, Sr. Opens His Big Mouth Again

Michael McGee, Sr. is the most paranoid man I've ever heard on the radio. Patrick at Badger Blogger caught him rambling on about how his son Alderman Michael McGee, Jr. was cheated in athletic competitions and given bad grades just because he was a McGee. With all that oppression how did junior ever become an alderman? The Man must have let his guard down.

In response to his son being arrested for violating a restraining order McGee, Sr. rambled, "Vietnam Syndrome is going to take over and I'm going to go down there and mess up a bunch of them, that’s for sure." I'm still waiting for him to fulfill his threat to--paraphrasing Jonathan Coleman--roll burning tires down the freeways.

"McGee Sr. Blames Everyone Else"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)

Pay to Play, Journal Sentinel Style

Charlie Sykes asked Milwaukee Journal Sentinel publisher Betsy Brenner if there would be a special section in the newspaper similar to the one when the NAACP came into town last year. Here's Brenner's response:

Charlie:

Journal Sentinel agrees to publish a special section around regional conventions when the convention organizers commit (in advance) to produce or underwrite at least three pages of advertising to support it.

Last year, the NAACP organizers did so well before the national meeting in Milwaukee. Their endorsement to their sponsors enabled us to publish a 22-page section, with 13+ pages of advertising. Total revenue generated by that section was over $60,000.

This year, the NRA organizers considered purchasing one full page – but as of today’s deadline for Friday’s paper, they’re not certain whether to proceed with it. One page isn’t enough to generate a section on our end, so we didn’t plan to publish one.

We will, of course, cover the NRA convention in the news columns of the paper.

-Betsy Brenner


I don't want to accuse the newspaper of being unethical, but to this layman's ears it sounds like an organization can buy a section of the newspaper. Publishing a daily newspaper costs a lot of money and the Journal Sentinel is part of a public company beholden to its stockholders--which probably haven't been too happy. Many magazines today have special advertising sections filled with articles that don't look like ads. Usually along the top of the pages it mentions it's a paid ad. The Journal Sentinel does something similar in its Sunday automotive section which is sponsored by local car dealers. Did the newspaper point out to its readers that the special section only existed because the NAACP funneled advertising their way? If the section on their website devoted to last year's convention is any indication the answer is no.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:49 PM | Comments (1)

NRA's Gun Pledge

Before their meetings have really begun the has made news in Milwaukee:

The National Rifle Association said today it will ask all of the nation's mayors and police chiefs to sign a pledge stating they would never confiscate weapons from law-abiding citizens, such as in periods of emergency.

At a news conference, NRA officials said the initiative was prompted by what happened in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina where they said leaders ordered police to collect the guns amid the flooding and chaos.

In addition to the pledge request, unveiled this morning in an ad in USA Today, the group said it will seek state and federal legislation that would make it a crime for those in authority to take the guns.

It's no surprise the City of Milwaukee didn't take too kindly to the pledge:

"The rhetoric to say we are going to disarm law-abiding citizens is a little over the top," Deputy Police Chief Brian O'Keefe said at a City Hall news conference. Police have neither the time nor the legal authority to raid innocent citizens' homes and grab their guns, O'Keefe said.

As for New Orleans, O'Keefe said, he wasn't "aware of any widespread confiscations," but police did take guns from people who were threatening public safety, and Milwaukee police would do the same thing in the same circumstances.


Mr. O'Keefe needs to read Boots & Sabers who found this NY Times story that begins:
Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here.

No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.


The situation got so bad the NRA got a federal judge to issue a restraining order to stop the confiscation.

To Deputy Police Chief Brian O'Keefe such facts are a "little over the top."

In other NRA meetings news Daniel Suhr reports won't be holding a party for the NRA like it did when the NAACP came to Milwaukee for its convention last year.

UPDATE: Phelony Jones hopes "the NRA can put a smoking barrel under the ginormous ass of Wisconsin and therefore help motivate us to get concealed carry."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:56 PM | Comments (2)

Charlie's Show Prep #98

  • The Stanley prison needs $5 million for it to meet code. The prison's builder gave a -controlled political organization $125,000. Chvala changed his vote. Now, he's sitting at home serving home detention while Scott Jensen will have to spend 15 months in prison.

  • Want to talk about civil war? Look at the Palestinian Authority. There are now competing security organizations.

  • Here come the "gun nuts." Let's hope the outdraws the piddly numbers from the NAACP convention last year.

  • UW System president Kevin Reilly fired his PR staff. Changing who spins things won't change the fact the system needs serious reform.

  • got his Super Bowl I ring back.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:37 AM | Comments (4)

May 17, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #97

  • Rep. finally made a show out of herself in Washington. In a highly staged event outside the Sudan embassy she was arrested. She "knew not to wear jewelry, not to wear shoes with laces - just slip-on shoes - and were instructed to have just a photo ID and $50 cash on them, and nothing else. The police were informed and the members were prepared ahead of time, so that it could be very smooth and peaceful." What a joke.

  • again spoke truth to power.

  • The administrator of Medicare called the sign-up for the a "historic success." Of course he wasn't thinking of the taxpayers who are stuck with the bill.

  • Sheriff is being sued for letting a religious group talk at deputies' roll call.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:57 AM | Comments (1)

May 16, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #96

  • Want a job? Become a . Milwaukee factories crave them.

  • Is Google's funding of MoveOn.org to promote actually being used to attack Republicans?

  • pitches the Bush economy.

  • Mark Goldblatt points out that containment wasn't doing much to .

  • is proving a political failure.

  • The internet revolution continues. For the rest of 2006 you can make phone calls to any number in the U.S. for free using .

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:18 AM | Comments (2)

May 15, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #95

  • Lambeau Field, a Wisconsin Dells water park, and shopping malls are "critical infrastructure?" Only in the eyes of the federal government and local officials.

  • Wisconsin candidates are using the internet to .

  • The history of price controls and "windfall profit taxes" is pretty poor.

  • Newt Gingrich thinks Sen. is the Democratic Presidential front-runner.

  • Today is the deadline to sign up for the drug plan.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:30 AM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2006

Tommy's Not Running

The buzz surrounding Tommy Thompson running to for governor went "kaput!" He's not running:

After serious consideration and many conversations with my family and people around Wisconsin, I have decided not to run for Governor this year. I have come to this conclusion for two simple reasons: my family's unanimous opposition against another campaign and because I am convinced that Mark Green is the right candidate to lead our party and will be victorious in November.

It was critical in my decision making to know that the Republican Party has Mark Green to lead Wisconsin forward again and return our state to the greatness we enjoyed when we were the pride and model of the nation.

I am privileged to accept the role as the honorary chairman of Mark's campaign because he knows that the strength of Wisconsin is found in our people. Mark has the vision, integrity and principles needed to bring the state and its people together.

Mark Green will put the state back on the right track. I will work tirelessly to campaign for Mark as we seek to restore the confidence and resolve that make Wisconsin great.


In between Tommy making some cash in his non-government life I hope he travels the state often to cheerlead for Mark Green. He's a tremendous campaigner who can really rally the troops.

UPDATE: Here is the Green campaign's statement:

Today, Congressman Mark Green, the Republican candidate for governor, announced that former Wisconsin Governor Tommy G. Thompson will serve as his campaign’s honorary chairman. Following this announcement, Green made the following statement:

“Twenty years ago, Wisconsin was headed in the wrong direction. Our taxes were too high, our businesses were leaving and people were talking about turning the lights off on Wisconsin. Despite the strength of our people, and the very history and heritage of our state, our future was in doubt.

“Tommy Thompson knew we could be so much more than we were in 1986. So, he took on the Madison establishment and special interests, and he won. Governor Thompson went on to re-establish Wisconsin as a national leader … reforming the welfare system and challenging the education establishment. He lowered taxes, and he rebuilt our economy to one of the strongest in the country.

“Today, Jim Doyle has our state pointed in the wrong direction. He trusts the special interests instead of the people, and he is holding Wisconsin back. I’m honored to have Tommy Thompson’s support and, as the honorary chairman of my campaign, he’ll be helping us to again retake our government for all the people of this great state.”

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:55 PM | Comments (5)

May 13, 2006

Bus Driver Requests Urine from Student

There's no requirement one must be smart to drive a school bus:

A Milwaukee-area school bus driver for the Lakeside Co. has been fired over allegations that she tried to solicit urine from a 14-year-old middle school student to help her pass a drug test.

"She had asked my daughter to give her a urine sample. When I got my daughter home, that's when my daughter told me. She asked her to give her a urine sample because she uses marijuana, and if she was to give urine -- 'cause they do random tests -- it would be dirty," Linda Williams said.

The 14-year-old girl is a student at Whitman Middle School in Wauwatosa.

Wauwatosa police said they are investigating.

"Bus Driver Fired For Allegedly Soliciting From Student"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:46 PM | Comments (1)

Nobody's for Tommy

Judging from the responses at the Badger Blog Alliance [here, here, here, here, here, and here ] conservative news junkies don't want Tommy Thompson challenging Gov. Doyle in November. We remember Tommy as a good campaigner and policy visionary who made us feel good about Wisconsin, but none of us remember Tommy as a fighter for limiting government. Of course some of us (me included) were too young to know what was going on in Madison.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:03 PM | Comments (1)

May 12, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #94

  • Sell Mitchell International Airport? It's an old idea that might happen due to Milwaukee County's worsening finances.

  • Social networking websites like may face federal regulation to protect minors from sexual predators.

  • A proposed .xxx internet domain was rejected. Some say it was due to U.S. pressure.

  • can start planning to get into the space business but where are the companies eager for a spaceport? Try New Mexico and California.

  • It's wet and cold outside yet the Journal Sentinel thinks it's a great time to start thinking about patio dining.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:22 AM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #93

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:51 AM | Comments (2)

May 10, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #92

  • The Menomonee Valley and possibly the state will lose .

  • Three are running in statewide races in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland. All three have legitimate shots at winning. This must make Eugene Kane's head spin.

  • Behold! America's biggest college loser goes to UW-Whitewater. Twelve years as an undergrad and still hasn't graduated. Why when "I have 18-, 19- and 20-year-old girls throwing themselves at me in bars"?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:07 AM | Comments (3)

May 08, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #91

  • If Democrats take Congress this fall they won't impeach President Bush or so says . Then he better tell Rep. , the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. His staff recommends [PDF] "The House should establish a bipartisan select committee with subpoena authority to investigate the Bush Administration's abuses detailed in this Report and report to the Committee on the Judiciary on possible impeachable offenses." Conyers doesn't refute this. Instead, he calls it "oversight." Dean should also disavow two recent books making the case for impeachment.

  • Republicans are critical of running the CIA. They worry a military man shouldn't run the agency. They better offer a better reason since there's a history of military men as director.

  • In a way Scott Walker is lucky he's no longer running for governor. Imagine him trying to run an effective campaign while dealing with a tough financial crisis that could lead to an outside board taking control.

  • The Vatican is fighting a cheesy book and movie in The Da Vinci Code. They're wasting their time. It's fine to point out the errors and pop the conspiracy bubble author Dan Brown semi-created, but there's no need to ask Christians to employ "legal means."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:56 AM | Comments (5)

May 05, 2006

Questioning a Poll

Xoff found a problem with the Strategic Vision poll that had trouncing Gov. Doyle: we have no idea who sponsored it. It would be hilarious if we discover Tommy was behind the poll.

I'd like to know the poll questions. Wording can drastically change a poll's results. "" polls better than "Hillary Clinton."

Yes, Bill Christofferson makes some sense every once in a while.

"Who's Paying for these ?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:34 PM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #90

  • Two things stand in the way of the bloated war and hurricane emergency spending bill: House Republicans who realize spending like Democrats could lose them control of Congress and President Bush who has threatened to use his first veto.

  • What is it about Kennedys, crashes, and cover-ups?

  • The Muhammad cartoons fury has "only strengthened our [Denmark's] resolve to assist countries that are in the midst of very difficult social transformations." Danish troops will "stay in Iraq and finish the job."

  • Take carry-on baggage when flying this summer. A congressman thinks more passengers and fewer TSA workers will lead to more lost .

NOTE: There would be links to Journal Sentinel stories but I can't access the site.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:49 AM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2006

TPA Dies in State Senate

When the pathetic, wimpy version of the TPA passed the State Assembly last week the whole project died. Tonight's vote in the State Senate was simply symbolic. We can see which state senators care about limiting government and its hunger for more and more taxes. Owen Robinson decided to pay attention and list the names. In a few weeks the state GOP will hold their convention in Appleton. I hope conservatives give certain legislators an earful.

"TPA Dead"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:41 PM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #89

  • Oh no. A poll has beating Gov. Doyle. This news makes his announcement at the GOP state convention in a few weeks that much bigger.

  • Increased energy prices and President Bush's "Big Government" conservatism are helping grow personal incomes in many states. Wisconsin ranks 27th.

  • In the words of a Washington Times editorial: "At the very least, politicians everywhere should abandon the idea of tax dollars for illegal laborers." According to one poll Monday's rallies didn't move public opinion either way.

  • After U.S. pressure Mexican president wants changes to a proposed law decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of drugs.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:38 AM | Comments (2)

May 03, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #88

  • I don't think the protests helped their cause. In Herndon, VA three politicians were defeated over an immigrant employment center. [via Wizbang]

  • Wisconsin government has another problem with over-budget projects. This time the UW system spent $26 million and has nothing to show for it.

  • Nine states are suing the federal government for lax vehicle standards. Expect the media whore Peg Lautenschlager to jump on this suit.

  • The Washington, D.C. housing market's might have burst. Could it be a national trend? Construction on two towers of condos will begin on Milwaukee's east side in June. [via The Volokh Conspiracy]

  • A bill dealing with cleaning up the involved procedural tricks and an illegal committee vote. State Senator Alan Lasee earns the quote of the day for calling a Dane County judge a "froot loop."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:11 AM | Comments (14)

May 02, 2006

Mission Accomplished

Brian Hagedorn survived Northwestern law school. Beware, another conservative, Federalist Society lawyers is on the loose.

Congrats, Brian.

[via B&S]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:41 PM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #87

  • In Milwaukee the only things shut down by the protests were the Latino community and the streets clogged with protesters.

  • Despite Rep. Gwen Moore's complaints coming to the Menomonee Valley will come to a common council vote.

  • 9,200 "national security letters" were issued by the Justice Department last year under the .

  • is preparing for economic sanctions by seeking lots of Thai rice.

  • By 2014 U.S. troops will have left .

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:46 AM | Comments (1)

May 01, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #86

  • Madison and Milwaukee are good economic exceptions among Midwest cities.

  • The Department of Justice wants a lawsuit against AT&T tossed because it might devulge . The case involves possible NSA wiretapping.

  • Time magazine put out their list of 100 most important people. Sorry, Charlie Sykes doesn't make the list.

  • Colorado Democrats are in a bind. Their only candidate for governor is .

  • UWM students don't want a school name change.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:28 AM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2006

Bin Laden Sightings

JB Van Hollen was right. There are terrorists running around Wisconsin.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:51 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #85

  • Charles Krauthammer writes all you need to know about high prices. And he admits he's taking much of it from what he wrote in 1996. The more things change....

  • A Gallup Poll found most people in the South go to .

  • Yesterday was an example of why the White House corps is worthless.

  • opens today. Being a Hollywood production it isn't pure history.

  • Loony aldermen in Chicago banned from their city's resturants and food shops.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:20 AM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2006

TPA Debate

If you can stand it listen to the State Assembly live audio of the Taxpayers Protection Amendment debate. Much of it is painful to endure. Great speakers are few and far between in that body. Owen Robinson is in wait and see mode.

UPDATE: After some vote failed (I think it was Rep. Lasee's amendment) both parties have gone to caucus. It's going to be a long night.

UPDATE II: Jenna at Right off the shore reports the TPA died 32-66. Speaker Gard has egg on his face.

UPDATE III: Because the Journal Sentinel's DayWatch weblog has no permalinks (dumb, dumb, dumb) I'll quote the entire story about the death of a TPA that limited state and local government:

The state Assembly tonight killed a constitutional amendment that would have clamped tight spending controls on state and local governments - the first vote by either house of the Legislature on constitutional spending limits.

Later, the Assembly was scheduled to vote on a plan to amend the state constitution to limit only state spending, by tying it to the inflation rate and population growth. Sponsors said the vote was too close to call.

Even if approved by the Assembly this week and Senate next week, limits on state spending would have to be passed again by the new Legislature that convenes in January, and approved by voters in a statewide referendum.

On a 66-32 vote Thursday night, the Assembly rejected constitutional limits that would have extended to local government. Those limits would have been based on inflation, population growth or new construction, depending on the level of government involved. Voters could have lifted the limits through local referendums.

The proposal for broader limits was offered by Rep. Frank Lasee (R-Bellevue), who has pushed a package of tight spending controls for eight years. He said all other attempts to protect taxpayers have failed and that wealthy retirees and young professionals are fleeing Wisconsin because of high taxes.

"We are so, so afraid of asking voters how much they can afford, or what they desire," Lasee said.

But Democratic Rep. Jim Kreuser of Kenosha called Lasee's proposal unpopular and unworkable, and said it would "duct tape the hands together" of local elected officials who provide critical local services.
"It's wrong for Wisconsin," he said.

The vote came one day after more than 100 local elected officials and advocates for unions, retirees and religious groups came to the Capitol to lobby against any constitutional restraints on state and local governments.


Guys, quit while you're behind. Call it a night, let Mark Green run with the TPA as a campaign issue, and make an organized effort next legislative session.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #84

  • In the past twelve months the Milwaukee area has lost 7700 jobs. Thanks to Congressman , "expert" on job creation, some of those jobs won't be replaced.

  • I've been hard on Assembly Speaker John Gard. He's making up for his previous lack of leadership by trying to get some limiting government spending passed. With his not-so-good Gard wants some positive news.

  • The Journal Sentinel finally acknowledges Michael McGee's racist humor. It only took five days.

  • There's more troubles with the U.N. The U.S. Attorney's office is investigating problems "in the office that handles procurement for U.N. peacekeeping operations." Then there's the question of who let the world body sell off its valuable .

  • opened the Tribeca Film Festival.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:02 AM | Comments (0)

Carnival of the Badger

Belle at Leaning Blue put together a fine Carnival of the Badger. Check it out. She sacrificed valuable study time for our reading enjoyment.

"Carnival of the : Q&A Edition"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2006

Tire Slashers Receive Sentence

Four of the Milwaukee 5 tire slashers received their sentences today:

Michael Pratt was sentenced to six months in jail, and Sowande Omokunde, Moore's son, got four months in jail. Lavelle Mohammad was sentenced to five months in jail, and Lewis Caldwell received a six-month jail sentence.

Each was fined $1,000. The defendants all had previously paid a collective restitution of $5,320, as part of the plea bargain.


The fifth thug, Justin Howell, was aquitted in January's trial.

Thus ends this story of voter interference and violence.

"4 Sentenced to Jail for "

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:15 PM | Comments (3)

Charlie's Show Prep #83

  • works the state capitol while on work release.

  • The "Stop Snitching" campaign is still alive and well. There are accusations of bribing witnesses to not testify in a recent beating of a 15-year old. Also, someone might have been shot in the head to be kept quiet.

  • Abu Musab raises his ugly head.

  • will be White House press secretary. Howard Kurtz reports, "top officials assured him that he would be not just a spokesman but an active participant in administration policy debates." Kurtz goes on to write Snow will try "to ease the tensions between this White House and the press corps." He should go beyond the MSM and embrace talk radio and webloggers. It would help the White House re-energize the conservative base.

  • Twenty years ago today, a nuclear reactor exploded at .

  • Help choose new properties from across the country. You can choose Texas Stadium, Wrigley Field, Jacobs Field, and Fenway Park but not Lambeau Field. That's wrong! Come on, Brett's Back.

  • is good for unborn babies. Now, the world knows something all us Wisconsinites already knew.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:48 AM | Comments (4)

April 25, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #82

  • The sides of the embryonic stem cell issue are surprising and complex.

  • Milwaukee isn't the only place with problem cops. Three officers have been suspended for turning in false time sheets.

  • Iranian president told reporters, "We say that this fake regime [Israel] cannot logically continue to live."

  • will be the next White House press secretary. It would be far better and more radical if Josh Bolten didn't fill the position and ended the daily media circus--giving Helen Thomas a reason to disappear.

  • The latest literary scandal involves a Harvard undergrad whose response to plagiarism charges is it was "unintentional and unconscious."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:09 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2006

TPA is a Test for Mark Green

Let me add a few thoughts to Owen Robinson's take on the TPA's status.

First, Owen's correct that GOP leadership failed to get a common-sense, uncomplicated amendment passed. We shouldn't be surprised with State Senate Majority Leader Dale Schultz because he could care less about limiting government (and his own importance). With Speaker John Gard it's a case of being too concerned about one's political future. Gard cares more about winning a seat in Congress than limiting government spending and power. It would have been better for the TPA if Gard would have stepped down as speaker; but that would have hurt his chance at getting Rep. Mark Green's seat. In Gard's political calculation he put his future ahead of the state's. That shouldn't be surprising if you view politicians like I do as fairly rational, self-interested participants in the political economy.

Second, the TPA can be saved. Even with the short amount of time left gubernatorial candidate Mark Green is the closest the Wisconsin GOP has to a leader. Schultz doesn't give a damn about conservatives, Gard is too busy running for Congress, and party leaders Rick Wiley and Rick Graber are too often the two that can't shoot straight. Only Green is in a position to build a unified front to get a tax limitation amendment passed. It's conceivable his campaign could write an amendment that either limits state and local government spending or taxation that isn't a Rube Goldberg document policy wonks, lawyers, and judges will argue over for years. As the flag bearer for the Republicans he could get Gard and Schultz to at least get a vote on the amendment.

If the TPA dies this year like I think it will I won't put the blame on Green. I'm sure he assumed a GOP-controlled legislature could get something passed. The political situation is such that Green could really enamor conservatives. He would solidify his limited government credentials and have something tangible to hold against Gov. Jim Doyle. If the TPA goes down Green can use the issue in the campaign. For Green it's a no-lose proposition.

Owen is right in the title of his post. "Leadership Does Actually Matter." Mark Green has an opportunity to show the state he has the ability to lead by getting his party's act together.

"Leadership Does Actually Matter"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:46 PM | Comments (11)

Charlie's Show Prep #81

  • There's more evidence the TPA is dead. Speaker Gard just wants something passed in the State Assembly so conservatives don't go ballistic in his Congressional race. He said, "To be honest, I stopped trying to figure out the state Senate."

  • Osama Bin Laden talks, but the Sudan and Hamas don't want to listen. Austin Bay sees the tape as an "agitprop error."

  • 's "popularity" with military brass precedes the Iraq War and Sep. 11.

  • A spending bill on the Iraq War and hurricane relief is rife with . Unless they can control themselves, this will be the GOP's electoral downfall.

  • Rep. Cynthia McKinney got caught calling someone a "fool." Ms. McKinney needs to find a mirror.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:14 AM | Comments (1)

April 21, 2006

Two for One

WISN's Early Spin has some smart listeners. Dan Deibert posts an e-mail from one:

The mayor lamented the fact that it is difficult to get the poor and minorities on juries because jury pools are selected mostly from the drivers license database, and most of these people do not drive. As a result, juries skew white, and more affluent.

The poor and minorities could be included if everyone had a state issued photo ID (whether it be a drivers license or a regular ID) for voting purposes. This would help to select jury pools that are more representative of the citizenry.

This is a perfect chance to fix TWO problems with one simple solution.


This might be a way to bridge the Left-Right gap on two issues. It won't happen because Democrats don't mind tampering with voting via fraud, bribery, or property damage.

"Great Email From Larry"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:56 PM | Comments (1)

Breaking News from the Future

Courtesy of Dennis York:

Thanks to a new program that provides free wireless internet service in the homes of all Milwaukee Public School students, MPS boys have become instant experts in female anatomy, tests show. "The new program has provided previously disadvantaged boys the opportunity to develop their minds, their research skills, and the muscles in their right wrists," said MPS Superintendent William Andrekopoulos.

"MPS Boys Score #1 in Nation on Female Anatomy Tests"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:39 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #80

  • 2,897 Wisconsin college students are being denied federal aid because they had a drug conviction. The issue has reached the federal courts.

  • Rick Esenberg has a good column on the Jude verdict covering the jury, race relations, and possible solutions.

  • The planet might not warm as much as scaremongers would hope.

  • Next year Miller will come out with the self-cooling beer can just in case it does get really warm.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:37 AM | Comments (5)

Feingold Libels President

Sen. Russ Feingold got plenty of attention for asking the Senate to censure President Bush. It helped to rake in $282,000 for his political action committee. Now, he dropped another "Look at Me!" bomb by libeling him in an ad put out by his Progressive Patriots Fund. In the ad a Karl Rove look-alike tells the President he's the "King of the United States." He then says, "For starters, we should be eavesdropping on anyone who disagrees with you." Fake Rove adds, "It's not 'domestic spying. It's 'terrorist surrveillance.'"

According to Feingold President Bush has considered spying on political opponents. Where's the evidence? There isn't any because that's not what is going on. From all reports the NSA is monitoring terrorist conversations including those with people inside the United States. In Feingold's Daily Kos-fueled world that means Bush is engaging in Nixonian abuses of power. That's libel.

I'm not talking about libel in the strict legal sense. The President is a public figure so people have far more latitude in what can be said about them. Also, to defend himself in court lots of details of the top secret NSA program would have to be released. Still, the ad is "a published false statement damaging to a person's reputation" (Oxford American Desk Dictionary). Since Feingold has offered no evidence showing President has ordered NSA spooks to spy on political enemies the ad meets the definition.

The Confidentials has a good idea. Hey, Russ! Put a sock in it!

"I Can Not Tell a Lie…but Russ Feingold’s Commercial Might Have"

"Someone Save Russ Feingold, From Himself!"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:20 AM | Comments (7)

April 20, 2006

Say a Little Prayer

Kevin Binversie's father needs a heart transplant, plus he's been "poked, prodded, probed" over the past year. The family will endure even more stress. Please keep them in your prayers.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:06 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #79

  • The TPA is doomed now that two GOP State Senators (from Northwest Wisconsin, far away from talk radio yappers) will oppose it. That eight-page monstrocity is an example of wonkishness and poor legislative leadership. Daniel at GOP3 devises a scenerio where a delated TPA gets a serious shot at becoming part of the constitution.

  • The Journal Sentinel editorial board gently chides Michael D'Amato and Rep. Gwen Moore for objecting to BuySeasons coming to the Menomonee Valley.

  • "High-tech products accounted for 23% of all Wisconsin exports last year...."

  • There's a Midwest mumps outbreak.

  • A study found sex equality corresponds with sexual well-being.

UPDATE: Charlie should really like this one. Jason McElwain's basketball story will be made into a movie.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:10 AM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #78

  • Michael McGee got a restraining order slapped on him. He didn't bother to go court yesterday. He was either too busy trying to get Al Sharpton to Milwaukee or he didn't want to perjure himself again.

  • Let the Cudahy Iceport die.

  • In Europe webloggers are "important as opinion formers and trend-setters." The same can be said in the U.S.

  • Open sources like weblogs are feeding the CIA's information appetite.

  • The number of military deserters has been few during this war.

  • Yale University is about to hire a Middle East Studies professor who actually thinks the Jews control U.S. policy. [via Power Line]

  • Academic Decathalon is saved thanks to Assurant Health.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2006

McGee to Get Sharpton to Milwaukee

The anger after the Frank Jude verdict didn't turn into rage. The last thing Milwaukee needed after the injustice (and what turned out to be a lousy prosecution combined with lying cops) was a further tearing of her social fabric. That disappoints a race-baiter like Michael McGee. He's bummed thousands haven't followed him to hit the streets crying, "No justice! No peace!" He's bringing in an A-list race-baiter, Al Sharpton for added oomph. McGee wants to learn about racial instigation and demagogery from one of the best.

In a press release [PDF] McGee also threatened the U.S. Justice Department to strictly regulate the Milwaukee Police Department possibly even taking it over. If it doesn't McGee says it would be responsible for the city exploding like a "powder keg." That will only happen if people give into the self-promoting exploits of McGee.

This is McGee making a power play. Do not underestimate him. He's learned plenty from his racist father. An empowered McGee will only worsen race relations in Milwaukee.

"McGee Calls in Sharpton"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #77

  • When I think of a new city hall I don't think of new plasma screen televisions. Thankfully, I don't live in Pewaukee where they got three along with over $1 million in cost overruns. Consider this evidence of local government living within its means. No Taxpayer Protection Amendment needed here. [/sarcasm]

  • 100 years ago today, San Francisco was leveled by that infamous earthquake.

  • Mississippi Senators, both Republicans, want $700 million to move a rail line that was just rebuilt for $250 million. If the GOP wants to lose big time in November they can allow that to happen.

  • The Journal Sentinel was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for their feature on Jeanna Giese's recovery from rabies. Congratulations.

  • Someone missed out of $850,000 by not turning in their ticket.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:58 AM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2006

Mark Green's "Tax Hell" Speech

Today, Rep. Mark Green forcefully came out for tax and spending controls. It's the first time I can recall a major statewide politician calling Wisconsin a "tax hell."

Many outstate Republicans will be grumbling silently while Southeast Wisconsin conservatives will be cheering. Green sounded like one of "Charlie Sykes Stormtroopers."

I'm stealing the speech from Boots & Sabers since I haven't found it on Green's campaign website. Here's the press release version if you're in a hurry.

In recent weeks, a number of startling statistics have come out that all say the same thing – Wisconsin’s tax burden has us at a competitive disadvantage as we try to attract good-paying jobs and grow our economy.

As thousands of Wisconsinites bring their tax returns to post offices around our state today, they continue to see more and more of their paycheck going to the government.

Our state and local tax burden is one of the worst in the country – nearly ten percent above the national average. While today is tax day, our tax freedom day – the day we stop working to pay taxes and start working for ourselves – is still eleven days off.

When Jim Doyle took office in 2003 our tax freedom day was April 19…this year it is April 28.

We’re going in the wrong direction….and it is affecting our economy.

Only three metropolitan areas lost more jobs last year than the Milwaukee area – and two of those were hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Our workers make less than the national average and our state lost $4.7 billion in net worth in just five years because some of our best and brightest decided to go elsewhere where they can earn more and pay less in taxes.

It’s time to draw a line in the sand. We should no longer allow our tax burden to block our path to prosperity.

Today, I am unveiling both a long-term tax relief plan and a commitment to provide some immediate relief. Elect me governor, and Wisconsin’s days in “tax hell” will be coming to an end.

To ensure the long-term economic prosperity of Wisconsin I believe we need a constitutional limit on taxes and spending.

For generations in Wisconsin, our tax burden has taken too much out of our family budgets and it has literally driven people out of our state.

If we are going to compete for good jobs here, we simply cannot have taxes that are ten percent above the national average.

Constitutional limits are a long-term commitment to lower taxes to ensure better jobs and a brighter future.

A future where Wisconsin is no longer listed among the top taxing states. A future where government spending is finally in line with our families’ ability to pay. A future where our seniors won’t flee Wisconsin’s high taxes, but retire here to spend their golden years with their family nearby.

And, by slowing the growth of government spending and limiting taxes, our children and grandchildren will be more likely to stay here, earn a good living here and raise their family here.

As a dad with young kids, I want that more than anything else.

While constitutional limits are a long-term commitment to lower taxes, taxpayers are in desperate need of protection right now.

Since he took office, Governor Doyle vetoed the property tax freeze…not once…but twice.

The result was an increase in property taxes of over eleven percent in two years and $600 million since Doyle took office.

He shouldn’t have vetoed the freeze…and taxpayers paid the price.

To make matters worse, Governor Doyle’s decision to increase spending by ten percent in his latest budget has left us with a $2.1 billion deficit – one of the worst in the nation. Jim Doyle got elected on a promise to solve the state’s fiscal problems…he’s clearly failed to do so.

Governor Doyle has raided every cookie jar he can find and maxed out the taxpayers’ credit card. He’s spending well above his means and he’s putting our future prosperity at risk.

I’ll take us in a different direction.

The first budget I present to the legislature is going to include a property tax cap. Local units of government will be able to increase their tax levy only to account for inflation and growth – in population, new construction or students. Of course, voters can choose to spend more if they agree to in a referendum.

At the same time we limit local taxes, we’re going to shake things up in Madison by capping state taxes. Any additional tax revenues the state receives above the previous year will be plowed into finally balancing our books and providing tax relief.

If we want to increase spending on a program, or start a new initiative, we’ll have to find the funds by cutting other spending.

Yes, we’ll have to make tough decisions. And yes, government will have to do more with less. Families all across Wisconsin are faced with those same decisions every single day.

But, don’t forget, we’re Wisconsinites.

We have the ingenuity, the imitative and the work ethic to blaze a new trail. Together we’ll reshape our government to make it leaner and more efficient. We’ll demand accountability and we won’t accept mediocrity.

Voters have a clear choice between Governor Doyle and me when it comes to limiting taxes and spending.

I support tax limits – Governor Doyle does not.

My plan will get Wisconsin out of the heat of tax hell, and into a much more comfortable, and prosperous, climate!

If you agree with me that we need tax limits, then I hope you join our Green Team. Together, we’ll make Wisconsin great again.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:20 PM | Comments (6)

Charlie's Show Prep #76

  • Some Applebee's workers went to an rally last month without giving their boss notice, and they're now crying to the feds. There's something to be said for accepting the consequences for one's convictions. Not in this age of victimization.

  • Mike Nichols gets it right: as spokesman for the Jude case anger will not be taken seriously.

  • Today is Tax Day. I'm sure most of you are like Congressional leaders on tax policy who pay others to do their taxes.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:31 AM | Comments (5)

April 15, 2006

Milwaukee in a Post-Jude World

Thankfully, anger at the Jude verdict hasn't resulted in violence. Wisconsin Avenue isn't ablaze. Maybe the sad news of the discovering of Quadrevion Henning's and Purvis Virginia Parker's bodies tempered people's passions. Or maybe Good Friday did it. Things could have gotten very ugly.

What is ugly is the relations between the Milwaukee Police Department and the community it's sworn to protect. The Code of Silence that allowed three ex-officers to get away with brutally beating a man tells the public the police is above the law. Any hope of near-term progress in countering the "Stop Snitchin'" culture vaporized with Jude verdict. I don't envy Police Chief Nan Hegerty or Mayor Tom Barrett.

There will be heightened tension between Milwaukee's whites and blacks since the Jude jury was all white, the defendants are white, and Frank Jude is mixed race. It's understandable, but I hope the focus is placed on the conflicting testimony of the police at the scene. Someone was obviously lying. A jury must believe the evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. Rich Esenberg writes, "Eyewitness identifications are not as certain as people believe them to be and the defense must have kicked up enough doubt about them given the fact that the prosecution witnesses were drinking, may have identified the defendants only after their picture was in the paper, etc." Our legal system places the benefit of the doubt on defendants. Because of that injustices can and will happen.

I'm more than willing to speak out against the injustice that occured. I just won't do it anywhere near that race-baiter Michael McGee. Owen Robinson writes,

This verdict will also serve to prop up the race warlords of Milwaukee – those who derive their power from racial hatred and anger. The McGees, Pratts, and Holloways of the world are going to be bolstered and strengthened. Every time these folks are strengthened, it weakens Milwaukee.

Lord help us.

The WTMJ radio yapping trio comment on a podcast.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:46 PM | Comments (1)

April 14, 2006

Police Found Innocent in Jude Case

Badger Blogger is reporting all three former Milwaukee police officers were found innocent in the Jude beating case. The jury is deadlocked on one count. Here's hoping the anger at that injustice doesn't turn into violence.

"Jude Beating Trial (Not Guilty)"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:41 PM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #75

  • The road builders say there isn't enough money for southeast Wisconsin highways. I weep--not really. Want to talk about waste? Does it make sense putting four lanes on Hwy 53 between Eau Claire and Superior? I've driven that stretch countless times. It isn't a sprawling growth area in need of more transportation dollars. Still need more cash? Shut down UW-Superior.

  • Six retired generals want 's head on a stake.

  • Only one-in-five Americans have a favorable view of Islam. [via OTB]

  • In Pennsylvania, there's a contrast in university reactions to students' voicing their concerns about immigration. [via SCSU Scholars]

  • A certain still-unnamed GOP rep who called southeast Wisconsin conservatives "stormtroopers" hasn't shown his feathers yet.

  • A grand jury is examining if perjured himself when he testified about steroids use.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:04 AM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #74

  • Stop the presses! The Journal Sentinel editorial board and I are on the same page. We both think the TPA needs time to be digested. Where we disagree is the lousy track record of growing state government means some strong restriction is necessary.

  • An Iraqi stringer taking pictures for the AP may have been captured by American forces with a cache of weapons.

  • The White House goes after a Washington Post story about supposed mobile Iraqi biolabs.

  • They're protesting Playboy in Indonesia, but the mag doesn't have any nudity. Even better, "its photos of women in undergarments are less risque than in other magazines already for sale in the country." [via In the Bullpen]

  • MySpace just hired someone to oversee law enforcement, safety, and privacy.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:32 AM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #73

  • The Taxpayer Protection Amendment (TPA) is turning into a monstrocity. Problem #1: it's 2000 words long. Problem #2: State Rep. Jeff Wood tossed in a new element to control increases in local government workers' pay. I'm all for controlling government spending, but this is turning into more centralization in Madison. Problem #3: Wood is in such a hurry to get a vote on the TPA he's not giving legislators enough time to study it. Problem #4: "29 different types of revenue" are exempted from an amendment intended to limit government revenues. Problem #4: it's 2000 words long! Owen Robinson critiques the cast of characters. Can you say B-movie?

  • Donald Rumsfeld to the press: "You think I’m going to stand around reading your books and validating or not validating them? I have a day job. If I disputed all of the mythology that comes out of this group [gesturing towards press pool], I’d have no time to do anything else." [via RWN]

  • If Iran's president wasn't nuts I'd say mutually assured destruction might contain that nation's nuclear threat. However, yesterday, they were dancing over their success in enriching uranium. Call it the UF6 two-step.

  • From Oct. 2003 to Nov. 2005 the Social Security Administration handed out at least $5.1 billion it shouldn't have.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:34 AM | Comments (1)

April 11, 2006

In Kathleen Falk's Wonderland

Only in the wacky world of Madison, WI would it make sense for Kathleen Falk to run to be the state's top cop while praising herself for helping illegal aliens avoid the law. I wonder what other laws Falk would not enforce?

"Eyes Wide Shut"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #72

  • A few Illinoisians are buying vacation homes in Milwaukee. As long as they don't turn the place into another Door County or Lake Geneva Flatlander money in the local real estate market is fine with me. What we're seeing is a trend of Chicago and Milwaukee merging. Let's name it Milcago. Economies, transportation, and the need for affordable living spaces are uniting the region. That's why it makes perfect sense for Milwaukee to join with Chicago in a regional bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

  • The anti-Wal-Mart crowd joined up with bank lobbyists to express their concern for the giant retailer possibly getting into the banking business. Call it the Red-Green coalition. Red because the bashers hate capitalism and Green because the banks are shaking in their boots that more competition could be on its way. Or think of the Red as Target who wouldn't mind their competitor being at a disadvantage since the Minnesota-based retailer owns a bank of its own.

  • Get ready for 24 the Movie. If you can't then see The Sentinel in a few weeks.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:11 AM | Comments (1)

Don't Insult Me

Which is better, being a "Neo-con Zombie" or a "Charlie Sykes Stormtrooper?"

I'm with Chris and would like the out-state Republican to have the guts to tell me I simply take marching order from a talk radio yapper. I want him to tell me my concerns for smaller government and lower taxes are less important because of where I live.

Mr. Nameless Republican needs to understand we are loud conservative voices who want conservative policies advanced. Since the GOP is the more conservative of the two major parties that's whose train we have to hook up to. I'm a conservative before a Republican. If I thought there was a chance to advance conservative ideas with the Democrats or a third party I'd jump at that. In other words, I'm not beholden to the GOP. The party will forget that at its political peril.

There are obviously political differences because of our geographic and economic perspectives. For the most part we're on the same side. The GOP is the best of choices. We need each other to elect Mark Green as governor and to have a Republican take the Attorney General office. The GOP will need Southeast Wisconsin conservatives to get the gay marriage amendment passed this fall and the TPA passed if it ever gets through the legislature.

To the Wisconsin Republican Party here's some helpful advice: you'd be better off with me to be for you than against you. I'm not being arrogant. My little corner of the internet isn't a 50,000 watt radio station. But I can still cause you a lot of pain and annoyance. Just push conservative ideas and you'll be just fine.

"The Great Divide"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:28 AM | Comments (8)

April 10, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #71

  • The Doyle administration is collecting stories about their accomplishments. This is news? An editor must have required something about the governor's race in today's issue.

  • A.N.S.W.E.R. will be organzing an immigration rally in Washington, D.C. Webloggers crashed a meeting and heard some interesting comments. [via Power Line]

  • Those seeking Dutch citizenship will have to watch a DVD that includes topless women and men kissing.

  • Joe Lieberman, the GOP's favorite Democratic Senator, might run as an independent if he doesn't win the Democratic primary.

  • The is a shell of its former self.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:15 AM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2006

Holloway Squashes Investigation

Lee Holloway gets his investigation quashed. The chairman and vice chairman of the Milwaukee County Ethics Board both resigned in frustration. Brian Fraley has the timeline of how Holloway played "hardball."

It's like the county board doesn't remember the corrupt Tom Ament years. Except this time Citizens for Responsible Government is around to continue the fight [DOC].

"Milwaukee's Ethics Meltdown"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:08 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #70

  • Building new companies is how Wisconsin's economy will grow. Easing tax and regulatory burdens are very important. Also important is funding start-ups. NeoClone is an example of 21st Century investing methods.

  • How about Wisconsin State University instead of UW-Milwaukee? A name change would create a school identity distinct from the state's flagship university in Madison. I'd prefer renaming it the University of Milwaukee. It's an university linked to the city, more so than Wisconsin as a whole. There is precedence: the University of Memphis previously was named Memphis State University. If you're a close Cheddarsphere reader you'd already know about the idea.

  • Badger hockey is one win away from another national title.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:00 AM | Comments (7)

April 06, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #69

  • State Rep. Frank Lasee no longer supports the Taxpayer Protection Amendment due to a "technical amendment." State Sen. Glenn Grothman told Owen Robinson it was a mistake.

  • Only New Orleans, Gulfport, MS, and Detroit lost more jobs in the last year than Milwaukee.

  • Numbers don't lie even in Iraq.

  • Every once in a blue moon Sen. makes some sense. He's wrong about calling for withdrawal from Iraq by the end of the year. But he does makes sense with his plan for a 05.15 deadline for Iraq to form a government. I sense signs of dependency. If Iraqis think war supporters like myself will support the U.S. military as a substitute for Iraqi forces they're wrong. James Joyner disagrees.

  • Kathryn Jean Lopez: "Let's question the instinct that would keep our most vulnerable from a new season of life."

  • is going to CBS. Ho-hum. Expect the evening news to be Oprah-fied. What would have been refreshing radical is if CBS had announced the end to their nightly news.

  • isn't making friends by waiting on his retirement decision.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:52 AM | Comments (2)

April 05, 2006

Fairy Tale

Someone's dreaming at Ask Me Later.

"Wouldn't It Be Grand...."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #68

  • To summarize the anti-war referendums: they won in a bunch of small towns (got 18 votes in Couderay) as well as anti-Bush strongholds (La Crosse and Madison). Political science professor John McAdams analyzes the returns:
    But this sort of analysis can hardly be a comfort to the anti-war movement. Genuine staunch opposition to the war ought to get people to the polls. In this case it didn’t.

  • Today would be Booker T. Washington's 150th birthday. He was an amazing and very wise man. His words and ideas transcend race, politics, and time. Go get a copy of Up from Slavery. It's a quick, worthwhile read. LaShawn Barber has more on the man.

  • Geraldo isn't fond of Wisconsin possibly lowering the hunting age. He pulled out a gun in New York City and asked a kid what he thought.

  • Panama wants to enlarge the so it can accept bigger cargo ships.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:02 AM | Comments (3)

April 04, 2006

Republican for Socialized Medicine

A Republican who sponsors a bill for socialized medicine. If that doesn't make you a Republican In Name Only (RINO) I don't know what does. Jenna's has the details.

"A Republican Introduces Socialized Medicine"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:11 AM | Comments (14)

Charlie's Show Prep #67

  • Rep. will leave Congress. No loss to me. He was a big-spending Republican. However, expect him to becomes a very powerful lobbyist. He's spent years building connections and handing out political favors. He'll be cashing them in. The short-term lesson is for local Democratic prosecutors to launch politically-motivated investigation of GOP Congressional leaders. If there's some smoke, as in DeLay's case, they just might force a few more into resigning. The "Democrats' politics of personal destruction" isn't good for the body politic, not that what DeLay did was great either.

  • It's Election Day in Wisconsin. Bring photo ID to the polls if you haven't registered lately. In the race for my Washington County board representative I don't like either candidate. Both Gerald Schulz and Allen Blank approved of extending the county's half-cent sales tax.

  • The Cheddarsphere gets it first scalp.

  • Patrick McIlheran found an environmental nut more morbid than . A Finn named Pentti Linkola advocates eugenics, totalitarianism, and dictatorship all in the name of population control and protecting the earth from the evil humans.

  • The UAW could only get 30 people to show up to protest the CEO. A sign of labor impotence?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:52 AM | Comments (1)

April 03, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #66

  • Sen. Feingold loves those friendly audiences. Listening sessions rarely bring together people with various views to debate. On Fox News Sunday the senator actually said President Bush's action were worse than President Nixon's abuses. Let's see: possible law-breaking in the hunt for terrorists is worse than attacking political enemies. That only happens in Feingold's world where he thinks he could win the Presidency. Ann Althouse comments. Then there's Tom McMahon's take on Wisconsin's junior Senator.

  • The U.S. and the U.K. might have permanent bases in Iraq. The U.S. has had bases in Germany and Japan decades after those countries were invaded. Troops will leave if they're not wanted and it doesn't damage national security. That's what happened in Saudi Arabia.

  • The digital revolution doesn't stop. Movie studios will begin really pushing online downloads of .

  • isn't as good as it used to be. Then I don't feel bad I've fallen behind in watching it. Missing an episode of The Sopranos would be really bad. I could get wacked.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:58 AM | Comments (15)

March 29, 2006

Smart Candidate

You'll notice to the left J.B. Van Hollen is advertising on TAM. That's no endorsement. I'm neutral. J.B.'s campaign put up the dough just like any advertiser can. I haven't followed the attorney general race closely, but I've heard good things from both Van Hollen and Paul Bucher. With the end of the GOP governor's primary more attention will go to the AG race. Van Hollen vs. Bucher will be good to watch but not as much as the slug-fest between Democrats. Kathleen Falk and Peg Lautenschlager.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:13 AM | Comments (22)

March 28, 2006

When the Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

With Scott Walker out of the governor's race there's been some Mark Green bashing on local weblogs. Charlie Sykes doesn't offer any links (tsk, tsk; the most important thing about the web; being on vacation is no excuse) so I'm going to assume most of the criticism has been in the comments. After Walker dropped out I knew some people were bummed. Many have quickly come around. Even Chris at Spotted Hourse knows the ultimate goal is to beat Gov. Doyle, and Patrick at Badger Blogger thinks "Green is a great candidate."

To Walker supporters still upset with Green here are two words: chill out. The guy's a conservative. He's voted to cut taxes, control spending, ban partial-birth abortion, and require photo ID at the voting booth. Compare that to Jim Doyle.

It's obvious the Green campaign has to reach out to conservative Southeastern Wisconsin voters who really liked Walker. Since I think he's a smart guy who will do what it takes to beat Doyle I have no doubt he'll do that. All I ask of you Green critics is to keep an open mind. Breathe in, breathe out, then imagine four more years of Governor Doyle.

YIKES!

"Newsflash: Green is Better than Doyle - Much Better"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:08 PM | Comments (10)

March 27, 2006

A Quibble with a Quibble

In Daniel Suhr's round-up of coverage of Scott Walker's exit from the governor's race he quotes TAM and gripes against "some (self-righteous) finger-waving at Mark Green" with regards to my complaint with Rep. Mark Green's ethanol stance.

Later on he doesn't think Green will campaign to the middle now that he won't have a primary opponent. He uses as an example Green not caving to the "right-wing on ethanol even as he was getting pounded on both talk and paid radio." Does Daniel think government requiring gas to contain 10% ethanol to be a conservative position? Such interference in the free market doesn't sound like the conservatism of Goldwater, Reagan, or Gingrich. It does sound like President Bush's Big Government conservatism which also includes massive increases in educational and social welfare spending along with trade protectionism.

Ethanol has been my primary concern with Green. I'm a conservative first, then a Republican. If Green pushes policies I don't consider conservative I will call him out and oppose them. No candidate will agree with me 100%. If I wanted the perfect candidate I'd run myself. I was no Walker sycophant. In fact, until he dropped out I didn't endorse either GOP governor candidate. When comparing Green and Doyle there's no question who I support. As I wrote last Friday, "On school choice, on taxes, on spending, on government regulations, on ethics Green is superior. For that I'm endorsing Rep. Mark Green for governor of Wisconsin." Ethanol isn't a deal breaker. Green wants to end Wisconsin's image as a tax hell and improve the business climate. If he pulled that off I probably could swallow an ethanol mandate. Politics is the art of the possible. There's a clear choice in the election. Voters can choose the conservative Rep. Mark Green or the liberal, ethically-challenged incumbent governor.

"Quibbles with Commentary"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:55 PM | Comments (0)

Kane's Bait-and-Switch

First, Eugene Kane wants certain members of the Wisconsin blogosphere to "Get some backbone or get out of the blogosphere." He complained about some webloggers (i.e. Jessica McBride) who don't allow comments. Ironic from a pathetic excuse of a weblogger who doesn't have weblog comments of his own (start griping to your employer if it's so important). I guess McBride's prominent listing of her e-mail address doesn't count. (It's actually in a bigger font than Kane's.)

Now, Kane decided he's superior because he gets letters to the editor and does webchats. It's no longer about comments. I'm still waiting for that coward to send me an e-mail or leave a comment. Hell, I'm still waiting for him to understand that being part of the blogosphere is linking to other webloggers. It's called being polite, a trait he rarely displays in his published words. He's still a weblogging newbie so I'll cut him a little slack. Even big media voices have to earn respect in the blogosphere. Kane has a ways to go.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2006

Mission Accomplished

Sen. Russ Feingold wanted attention to "force" him to run for President in 2008. So he decided President Bush needs to be censured. He did this without talking to any fellow Democrats. It wasn't a part of an overall strategy to weaken the President. It was self-promotion. Well, it worked:

A Newsweek poll taken March 16-17 found that 50 percent of those surveyed opposed censuring Bush while 42 percent supported it, but among Democrats, 60 percent favored the effort.

It's not gone two weeks, and Feingold is still getting free media. That had to top any of his expectations.

"Feingold's Call Gives Him Boost"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:33 PM | Comments (6)

March 25, 2006

Silence Blocks Finding Missing Boys

News about the two missing Milwaukee boys hasn't been found on TAM because I didn't have anything to add that you couldn't find in the newspaper or on television. Now, the story has gotten interesting along with being tragic:

Police now believe people who know something about two missing Milwaukee boys are withholding information that could lead to a major break in the investigation.

"We have reason to believe there are individuals with information that is pertinent to this investigation who for reasons unknown to us right now aren't coming forward," Milwaukee police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz said at a Friday afternoon briefing.


Kids don't vanish without leaving some clues. Since Purvis Virginia Parker and Quadrevion Henning disappeared last Sunday authorities have no leads. We know why. Someone isn't talking. I know the Black community doesn't have the greatest amount of trust in the Milwaukee Police Department. Since inquests looking at police shootings rarely call for an officer to be prosecuted I understand some of that distrust.

While two boys' lives are at stake people with vital information are running a personal "Stop Snitching" campaign. They may be proud of their bravado or fear for their lives, but families are in pain. They want to know what happened to their children.

"Somebody Knows, Somebody Saw Boys, Police Say"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:51 AM | Comments (4)

March 24, 2006

Walker Calls it Quits

It will be Rep. Mark Green versus Gov. Jim Doyle this fall. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker bowed out of the race citing a failure to reach fundraising goals:

"I give my full support and endorsement to my friend Mark Green," Walker said in a speech prepared for a 5th Congressional District audience at the Country Springs Hotel. He released a copy of his remarks this afternoon to the Journal Sentinel.

Walker, who entered the race officially in January 2005, pinned his withdrawal on a failure to meet ramped-up fundraising goals designed to compete with Doyle’s expected biggest-ever campaign war chest.

"It became clear to me that our fundraising totals would only allow us to run a campaign in a fraction of the 72 counties in this state," Walker said. "In addition, our resources would be so limited that most of it would likely be spent on ads attacking our Republican opponent." He called that an "unappealing option for me" and one that would only bolster Doyle’s re-election hopes.

"In the end I love this state too much to see Jim Doyle elected to another term," Walker said. "A campaign that does not focus on Doyle before the primary will almost certainly insure his re-election. To me, that outcome is unacceptable."

Walker said his campaign fundraising fell short of keeping up with Doyle’s record-setting pace, revealed in the late-January campaign reports. Walker said a new minimum goal he set for the end of March was "unfortunately" not reached.


Since Walker and Green are very close on most issues their differences, no matter how small, would be magnified. Thus the hammering I gave Green on ethanol. With Doyle's bad poll numbers I expect Green to win in November. If and when the ethanol mandate comes up I will be as opposed to it then as I am today. I'll want Doyle bounced out of office, but that doesn't mean Green will get a pass.

Still I defintely prefer Rep. Green to Gov. Doyle. On school choice, on taxes, on spending, on government regulations, on ethics Green is superior. For that I'm endorsing Rep. Mark Green for governor of Wisconsin.

markgreengovernor.jpg

People are talking over at the Badger Blog Alliance.

"Walker Withdrawing from Governor's Race"

UPDATE: Here's Walker's withdrawal speech.

UPDATE II: Owen Robinson recorded Walker's speech tonight.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:34 PM | Comments (4)

Charlie's Show Prep #65

  • A Hong Kong company will operate a radiation detector for cargo destined for the U.S. at a port in the Bahamas.

  • Someone found a way to make out of cheese waste. An ethanol mandate is inevitable when you unite special interests such as farmers with cheesemakers.

  • Tensions in the Far East grow. Japan cut off its loans to .

  • Someone help me figure out what Ted Thompson is doing. He has a chance to build the Packers in his image, but he's not signing anybody. Ryan Longwell goes to Minnesota, but he offered a similar amount of money to Adam Vinatieri. Now, with Mike Vanderjagt in Dallas the kicking pickin's are getting slim. Mike Flanagan ran off to Houston which leaves a hole in the middle of the offensive line, and Tony Fischer went to St. Louis because the Packers didn't even offer him a new contract.

  • I want to become famous like Dick Cheney just so I can have all my hotel televisions tuned to Fox News upon arrival.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:50 AM | Comments (7)

March 23, 2006

On High Altert

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT get between Sen. Russ Feingold and a reporter. Think "Hulk smash!" if you do, and that's from either direction.

I'm just warning you.

"Alert Level Raised to HIGH"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:30 AM | Comments (5)

Charlie's Show Prep #64

  • President Bush found Abdul Rahman's possible death sentence "deeply troubling," and will use American influence "to remind [Afghanistan] that there are universal values."

  • When people like Robert Samuelson, far from being a firebrand conservative, opposes a program it will be very tough for the President to get it through Congress.

  • Business done at strip clubs will be a thing of the past for Wall Street firms.

  • The FEC's online political speech regulations have been delayed until next week.

  • "Today is the fourteenth anniversary of the death of -- the greatest social scientist of the 20th century." Hayek happens to be my intellectual hero.

  • A real-life version of The Terminal took place in Chicago. A Romanian who overstayed his visa may have been living at O'Hare Airport for months.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:02 AM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2006

RNC Ad Spanked

FactCheck.org slaps the RNC for its Sen. Russ Feingold-bashing ad. Emi Kolawole writes,

[Feingold's] resolution would censure Bush for the way in which he ordered wiretaps, not for the wiretaps themselves. It would condemn him for "unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans within the United States without obtaining the court orders required " (emphasis added), and also for "failure to inform the full congressional intelligence committees," and for "his efforts to mislead the American people" about the legalities of the program.

Feingold complains about an unlawful process. With reasoning like Rick Esenberg's [also here] that's not a clear-cut case. He writes,
President's interpretation of his constitutional authority is reasonable and certainly does not constitute the type of criminality and wholesale disregard of the law that would warrant censure.

A problem with FackCheck.org's analysis is it leaves out the political context. Feingold launched his censure crusade because he wants to run for President and rally the Left to his side. From reading Kolawole's piece one could easily think Feingold is just a Jimmy Stewart-type getting beat up by the big, bad, misleading Republicans.

"RNC Mischaracterizes Feingold's Resolution"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:38 PM | Comments (5)

Charlie's Show Prep #63

  • President Bush called Sen. Feingold's idea "needless partisanship." Russ loves this attention along with (bad) RNC radio ads. He says Republicans "have something to hide." The grandstander really likes them because it keeps on generating free media for himself brings in money to his PAC. Yes, Sen. Campaign Finance has a political action committee.

  • The Bush administration's response to the possible execution of , an Afghan Christian, was tepid. Yes, Afghanistan's cooperation is very important in the Islamist War, but one must speak out against such injustice.

  • Today is judgement day for political speech on weblogs. The FEC will release internet campaign finance rules. I'll be thinking of Sen. Feingold when TAM has to move to Russian web servers to escape the U.S. government.

  • Northwest Airlines and Midwest Airlines were behind the idea of turning control of to a regional authority. Midwest will be in hot water after Milwaukee County gave it $14.3 million in credit in 2003 to prevent the airline from going bankrupt.

  • Single-sex classrooms: wave of the future?

  • The most promising season for the Brewers in a long, long time will start with ace on the disabled list.

  • Microsoft is pushing back to 2007.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:55 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2006

Lousy Anti-Feingold Ad

It's great the RNC is running radio ads against Sen. Russ Feingold. He deserves all the ridicule he gets. However, the ad is awful. With slightly scary music in the background a voice monotonously tells us Feingold and the Democrats are weak on fighting terrorism. Big time snoozer. I fell asleep half-way through it. It was a good idea, but bad execution. Amateurs could do a better job. Do any of my readers want to take a crack at making their own Feingold-bashing ad? If you give it a shot, send me the file. I'll host it and give you lots of love (if it's any good of course).

Or if you have little audio editing talent (like me making podcasts) then leave me a voice message below. All you need is a microphone connected to your computer.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:45 PM | Comments (5)

President of the Kosites

Congratulations to Sen. Russ Feingold. He's the far Left's choice for President beating Wesley Clark and whupping Sen. Hillary Clinton. Glee fills Bill Christofferson:

Russ Feingold is President of Daily Kos blog by a wide margin. Not a representative sample, by any means, but not a bad place to start for someone who's willing to run as a progressive.

It's not a good place to start either. The track record of Kos-endorsed candidates is--how do I put it nicely?--pathetic. That's what happens when you believe in the internet-flavored kool-aid you're drinking. Get ready to add Feingold's name to the list should he be formally crowned "progressive savior."

" Wins the Netroots" [via Right off the Shore]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:17 PM | Comments (4)

Slapping Russ

Patrick McIlheran goes off on Sen. Feingold. To sum it up: Feingold is full of himself.

"Everyone Likes to Listen"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #63

  • We must give Sen. credit. His censure grandstanding is still giving himself and his embryonic Presidential campaign plenty of free media. We now got reaction from people attending his listening sessions. When the Q&A revolves around whether Feingold will run for President you shouldn't be surprised the audience supports censure.

  • Conservative base roiling begins. The RNC will start running ads against Feingold and his resolution.

  • Rep. questions whether a costume company should move into the Menomonee Valley. To her no new jobs in Milwaukee is better than those not meeting her criteria.

  • Power Line deconstructs a paper on how "" supposedly led the U.S. into Iraq and caused Sep. 11.

  • On a related note President Bush warned Iran the U.S. will "use military might to protect our ally ." The lobby strikes again!

  • The is on pace to be in session for only 97 days this year. Some people think that's a bad thing.

  • demonstrates she lives in la-la land.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:48 AM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2006

Defending TPA

It's new to me so I'm linking to Rick Esenberg's pro-Taxpayer Protection Amendment op-ed from last week. He makes some great points including this:

For example, tax-limitation opponent Andrew Reschovsky has run the numbers and claims that, had the amendment been passed in 1985, state government in 2003 would have had 30% less to spend.

One is tempted to say that this is not a problem, that it is the point.

If the cost of state government over the past 30 years has grown by 30%, more than what would have been required by inflation and increases in population, then we are buying "more" government today than we were in 1985.

No problem, says Reshovsky, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He claims that government revenue has not increased as a percentage of state income. We can "afford it."

For some, the answer to the question "how much does the government need?" is "how much do the taxpayers have?"

I look at it differently. If I am paying more, I want more. I'm funny that way. Are the roads better? Are the schools more effective? Have we pulled more people out of poverty? I am skeptical.


I'm leaning for the TPA, but I have to read all 2,500 words of it before I fully back it. So many words mean many possibilities for loopholes. I agree with the intent: state and local government should be restricted fast much it can suck out of taxpayers' pockets. In the TPA's case it won't mandate reductions in revenue collection. It will only control its growth. That's quite modest for economic libertarians like me. People like Milton Friedman, Rep. Frank Lasee, and Americans for Prosperity like it which is a good indication. Like the proposed gay marriage amendment the devil is in the details.

"Spending Control Isn't Monstrosity" [via Rep. Frank Lasee]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #62

  • War protests, everywhere. They cry, "Leave Iraq!" Well, if the U.S. did then there certainly would be a civil war. Then the Bush-haters would scream, "Why didn't you do anything?" With these people President Bush knows he won't win. So he must continue on the course he thinks is right.

  • National Republicans can't agree on an election strategy for this fall's elections. It used to be Tip O'Neill's maxim that "all politics is local" ruled. My how Newt Gingrich changed things.

  • Two House Democrats see Sen. Feingold's desire to President Bush as a waste and "somewhat self-serving."

  • Archbishop Dolan prevents a liberal group from holding a meeting in his cathedral.

  • The third-annual will be celebrated in Milwaukee 03.25.06.

  • From the "Europeans are crazy about soccer" file: The Liverpool team apologized for their fans attacking Manchester United fans with human excrement, coins and food." And we're worried about bird flu.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:57 AM | Comments (2)

March 17, 2006

Don't Roll Out the Red Carpet

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, your not-so humble host will be making an appearance at the "Inaugural WisPolitics/WisOpinion Blog Summit." Sorry, I won't be tossing candy. Instead I'll be seeing how many Hershey's kisses I can toss into Aaron's mouth while he's griping about ethanol.

My gripes with the event are known. At the summit I promise to try to be a good boy. Key word is "try." As a veteran of weblogging conferences I've found the conversations away from the panels and speakers are the highlight. Putting a face to a weblog is great. There's instant camaraderie because we already know so much about other webloggers' interests and how they think.

If things get really dull, as in Ed Garvey droning about the greatness of Bob LaFollette, it's off to the hotel bar for me and whoever I can drag.

I hope to see many of my Wisconsin readers there.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:29 PM | Comments (2)

Crushing Dreams

Everyday I come across a statement in the new that I laugh at. It usually is some kind of spin or melodramatic hyperbole that makes me question if the intended audience will fall for it. Talking about how some policy will "help the children" is a prime example. While I just mock the speaker to myself Dennis York turns this stuff into "must-read weblogging."

"Damn You, Tax Code!"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #61

  • An incompetent Milwaukee poll worker failed to notice the bold "offender" label on a prison I.D. and allowed a convicted felon to vote last November.

  • The controversial comes out today.

  • Mike Wallace will retire from 60 Minutes. As this NewsBusters post points out his most infamous moment came when he declared himself a journalist first, then an American.

  • Expect huge drops in ratings (they couldn't have been that high to begin with) since the U.S. was eliminated by losing to Mexico. America isn't the king of America's Pastime anymore.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:08 AM | Comments (8)

March 16, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #60

My vacation was officially over when I stepped into work yesterday. Charlie Sykes can once again sleep a little longer knowing I'm helping him out with his show prep.

  • It's amazing that an out-there loon like Sen. Russ Feingold is on his fifth news cycle for his censure resolution. It must be a slow news week. Senate Democrats think his idea is radioactive. Even the Journal Sentinel editorial board thinks Feingold is a political moron and his idea of censure is "unfair." Russ got what he wanted. Not only did he get plenty of free media, but he's been declared "Leader of the Democratic Party" by Lefty weblog MyDD. Who's going to break the news to Howard Dean, M.D.? Here's the first comment of that post: " love Senator Feingold, can I please have him instead of traitor Lieberman????" Russ is cornering the wacko vote.

  • A local think tanks sees Milwaukee's inability to feed from the public trough as a reason for the area's economic ills.

  • And old coot Madison professor was fined $50 for threatening to blow up his health insurer.

  • With Sony announcing a delay in its , I declare Microsoft winner of this generation of video game wars.

  • Arianna Huffington gives her side of the "blogs but not really" flap. Her excuse: blame the publicist. Still intellectually dishonest. [via Ed Driscoll]

  • Yea! The whales are going away.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:02 AM | Comments (1)

March 15, 2006

Ah, yes. My last chance.

It's been wonderful hanging out with the Wisconites (Wisconsonians?) this week. But I don't feel I've been sufficiently irritating, so I'd just like to point out that my dairy lobby can beat up your dairy lobby.

(Actually, my dairy lobby is obnoxious, if you want to know the truth. They're like the mafia ova heah.)

Posted by Attila Girl in Wisconsin at 01:39 AM | Comments (3)

March 14, 2006

Media Darlings

Owen Robinson and Jay Bullock were interviewed about Sen. Feingold's ridiculous censure resolution. Good job by both. And as luck would have it they'll both be talking at WisPolitics' "Blog Summit."

"Owen on News At 10"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2006

Scott Submerges Censure

Scott McClellan brushed aside Sen. Feingold's censure attempt calling it something "to do with 2008 politics." That something, as Brian Fraley notes, is getting a rise out of the Left end of the blogosphere.

Let's give the media whore credit: he's gotten two news cycles out of this.

"W.House Dismisses Democrat's Call for Bush Censure"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:47 AM | Comments (2)

Jensen Railroaded

State Rep. Scott Jensen will go to jail for campaigning using taxpayers' funds. Granted, he broke the law, but doing so was par for the course. Former Assembly Democratic Party Leader Shirley Krug for current Gov. Doyle campaign staffer Rich Judge were never dragged before a court. Jensen wasn't even allowed to mention to jurors Democratic activities were the same as his. Is that fair? Shouldn't jurors be allowed important information to understand the environment of the state capitol at that time?

There's no way Jensen's case should have ever gone to court. With the extent of the abuses that took place in the capitol a more sensible method of enforcement would have been through legislative ethics committees, media reports, and elections. What we have now is similar to the police pulling one car over for going 65 in a 55-zone while ignoring the hundreds of cars passing by. How are people, even legislators, suppose to behave toward a law that rarely or selectively enforced?

"Both Parties Blurred the Line of Campaign Work" [via Charlie Sykes]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:07 AM | Comments (1)

March 11, 2006

The Living Dead That is Ethanol

Ethanol is turning into a political zombie. It was just killed by the state senate, but it just won't die:

[State Senator] Dave Zien is requesting an extraordinary legislative session from Gov. Jim Doyle when the Senate reconvenes in late April to investigate gas prices and revive legislation on ethanol and minimum fuel markups.

He blames the "power of conservative talk radio." (What, no mention of weblogs? Darn, we have to be like Avis and "try harder.") No, he blames an informed and activated public, including his small-government base.

In the elections this fall much of the focus will be on the governor's race. We can't forget to ask state legislative candidates their stance on an ethanol mandate. It shouldn't be the issue that makes for breaks an candidate, but it could be a sign of how small-government they are.

"Zien to Work to Re-Introduce Ethanol Mandate"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

March 10, 2006

Isn't He Already

A lawyer in La Crosse is arguing that his 13-year-old client should not be convicted as an adult for a crime he committed because,

...he likely would come back from prison as a sociopath or psychopath, the teen’s counselor told a judge Wednesday.

Testifying at a hearing on whether the case should remain in adult court, Norbert Laufen-berg said sending Haessly to prison — where he would face the possibility of physical or sexual abuse — would make him a greater threat to society.

His crime? He murdered his mother by choking her when she took away a "squeaky dog toy" from him.

Isn't he already a sociopath or a psychopath? Seems like it.

According to the ADA in La Crosse county,

Adequate treatment is available in adult institutions, and the maximum three years of incarceration and two years of supervision in the juvenile system would not be appropriate punishment...

But this lax sentence is not enough for this kid's counselor. For the crime of strangling and killing his mother,

neither adult nor juvenile corrections would work. Instead, the state needs to find the teen a stable foster home where he can get consistent counseling, he said.

Sick.

Posted by Jenna Pryor in Wisconsin at 02:05 PM | Comments (2)

Lucky Me

Had I tossed around the term "RINO" too loosely I'd be the butt of one of Dennis York's jokes. If you're a reader of the conservative Wisconsin blogosphere read this and try not to laugh.

Speaking of York vote for him for MKE's "Blog of the Week." It's a no-brainer.

"Charlie Sykes - King of the RINOS" [via Brian Fraley]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:04 AM | Comments (4)

March 07, 2006

Walker's Ethanol Ad

There isn't much difference between the two GOP governor candidates. So Scott Walker has to take advantage of anything that differentiates him from Rep. Mark Green. He tries that with his new radio ad on ethanol. It not only goes after Green's stance but also ties it into Gov. Doyle. It's not a bad ad, but Walker can ditch the Gettysburg-style soundtrack.

"The Merits of Limited Government"

UPDATE: I didn't notice a trifecta before I left for work this morning. A software upgrade will have to come sooner than I expected.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:32 AM | Comments (3)

Charlie's Show Prep #59

  • Imagine if Brett Farve suddenly died? Now, you know how Minnesota feels with the death of . Kirby embodied the spirit of the Minnesota Twins. Kirby was the kind of player you always knew would put up great numbers. He lived baseball, and we all loved watching him play it. Godspeed, Kirby.

  • U.S. intelligence says very deadly IEDs in Iraq are from Iran. A cassus belli?

  • Repubican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner questions the AT&T-BellSouth merger. I told you so.

  • The Dubai Ports World deal is just one example of increasing Middle East investment in the U.S. That's just the globalized world we live in.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:54 AM | Comments (3)

What's My Name?

Last time I checked I have a name. It's even displayed multiple times on my weblog. Hell, every single post that I've written has my name attached. It seems the Spice Boys, super-duper investigative reporters they are, were too lazy to add those 13 letters to their post on my little spat (not a "mini-war") with Charlie Sykes. Fire that intern! They're slacking off instead of earning that all-important "hands-on" experience.

"Hell Has Frozen Over"

P.S. It's "The American Mind" not "the American Mind." And Spiceblog ain't much of a traffic generator. Of course I'm used to Instalanches. (For Spivak & Bice, that means a link from Glenn Reynolds' Instapundit weblog.)

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:19 AM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2006

Back on the Ethanol Bus

Scott Walker is back to harping on Rep. Mark Green about ethanol. He writes,

One issue is a concern all over the state, and one that surprised me a bit, is the ethanol mandate.

Sure, I expected that in southeastern Wisconsin. We lived under an EPA mandate on the kind of gas we must use for more than a decade. "Gore Gas" has been a sore spot since the mid-1990s. Higher prices and engine troubles are frequent complaints from the EPA mandate.

...

Interestingly, people all across this state seem to agree with my opposition to the mandate.


Who are these people "all across this state?" To fight the ethanol lobby we need facts, something tangible to counter the host of politicians who think an ethanol mandate is a godsend to Wisconsin.

"Ethanol"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:26 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #58

  • There's one Milwaukee County supervisor who sees salvation in more taxes.

  • doesn't publically talk about possible future campaigns unless he's really thinking about it. Rep. Mark Green and Scott Walker should be a little concerned.

  • ABC News' expert said, "We're in a civil war now; it's just that not everybody's joined in." Ralph Peters, who is in Baghdad, is looking everywhere for it. His best line, "Perhaps the view's clearer from Manhattan. It could be that my background as an intelligence officer didn't give me the right skills."

  • Two great sports stories: is on the USA national team; and signed a one-year deal with the Packers.

  • WTMJ's has gone weblog wacky.

  • The spin has begun as to why Brokeback Mountain didn't win the Best Picture Oscar. said, "Perhaps the truth really is, Americans don't want cowboys to be gay."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:49 AM | Comments (4)

Good Additions to "Blog Summit"

Wow, whining pays off.

Two more leading Wisconsin bloggers have been added to the March 18 inaugural WisPolitics/WisOpinion Blog Summit to talk about the blogging phenomenon.

Panelists Owen Robinson of Boots & Sabers and Jay Bullock of folkbum's rambles and rants, joined by other citizen bloggers, will discuss ``Why blog? Defining the phenomenon from a citizen bloggers' perspective'' as part of an afternoon program focusing on the impact of blogs on politics and government in Wisconsin.

Bravo to WisPolitics for fixing the problem. They could have easily been stubborn which would have led to bad blood.

Now, it looks like I'll have to try really hard to attend.

"WisPolitics: Inaugural WisPolitics/WisOpinion Blog Summit Adds Citizen Blogger Discussion" [via Right off the Shore]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:08 AM | Comments (3)

March 05, 2006

Conservative Opinion on Gays

The Right is evolving. In my short lifetime attitudes toward homosexuals has gone from snickers and using "gay" as an insult to placid acceptance. Whether that's good or bad is another question. Much depends on who you ask. Me, I'll work, laugh, talk to them, and treat them like any other human beings. Just don't expect me to accept that lifestyle as morally legitimate as a hetrosexual one. As for marriage I'm in the camp of getting the state out of the marriage business replacing it with civil unions that encompass homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. I'm not out on a limb too much. Donald Sensing wrote something similar along with James Joyner.

This leads to Chris' at spottedhorse post on gay marriage. There's a concern about such couples adopting children. He doesn't have a problem with that:

Here is a question for my friends on the right who are against Gay Marriage.

If you had to choose which would you pick a baby being aborted or growing up with "gay" parents.

To me its a very easy answer Abortion is a crime against humanity and any time it can be made not to happen it is a win for humanity.

I guess what I am trying to say in my rambling way is A GOOD HOME IS A GOOD HOME.

Since webloggers' views are early indicators of political and cultural views don't be surprised if the same-sex marriage amendment on November's ballot goes down or, at the very least, squeaks through.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:47 PM | Comments (7)

March 04, 2006

Blog Summit Reaction

One milestone for the Wisconsin blogosphere is the one Charlie Sykes noticed:

A press release from a candidate for governor focusing solely on the reaction of the blogosphere.

Another way to know a weblog community has "arrived" is when individuals are knee-deep in navel gazing. The Badger blogosphere has reached that point. It started with Owen Robinson and I whining offering forceful critiques of the upcoming WisPolitics "Blog Summit." Kevin Binversie felt "jaded." Patrick at Badger Blogger notes that what was missing from the summit were the "real grass roots Bloggers, the citizen journalist that has made blogging what it is today." There's been plenty of discussion at the Badger Blog Alliance [here, here, and here]. Summit panelists Professor McAdams and Brian Fraley (who I think was smart enough to buy some TAM advertising space sometime back) weigh in.

If I didn't make myself clear in my previous post I am not insulting or putting down any webloggers on the summit panels. I read most of them and love their contributions. More smart people writing good stuff is always better than less.

Telling a little of TAM's history will let you know why the initial summit line up set me off.

I've toiled on my little part of the internet for over six years. I've written short posts, long posts, important posts, not-so-important posts. TAM started out as a simple text file of HTML that I uploaded to a server once or twice a day. TAM version 1.0 was ugly and a far cry from the slicker, more reader-friendly weblogs running now. I started TAM because I am a writer, and publishing on the web allows me to get my thoughts in front of an audience without having to know a newspaper editor, book publisher, television producer, or talk radio call screener.

Since I'm a writer I want two things: 1) I want a place to be published; 2) I want readers. Lots of readers. For me weblogging isn't just about the intellectual challenge to write something insightful, intelligent, or (occasionally) funny it's about the egoboo. Egoboo stands for "ego boost." When I'm linked by other webloggers and websites and have my material mentioned on the radio it's a high. I love that feeling, and I want more of it.

It's annoying when a newbie weblogger pops onto the scene and is an instant hit. It's frustrating when you think you're putting out material that's as good as another certain weblog but you only get 1% of their traffic. Traffic and links are the currency of weblogs. It's how we keep score. It's a sign of respect. The initial list of participants in the weblog summit showed there was a lack of respect for those weblogs that have laid the ground work for the blogosphere today. Professor McAdams writes,

Second, remember C.C. Colton's dictum that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." The fact that lots of people other than you pioneers are getting into blogging is a huge tribute to you.

Up to a point he's right, but it's not like we "pioneers" dried up and went away. We're still here pounding away at our keyboards continuing to offer something interesting to readers. We like some actual appreciation beyond knowing we are trailblazers.

I admit I'm sucking on some sour grapes. Do you blame me? TAM is one of the oldest Wisconsin weblogs and no one bothers to ask what the blogosphere was like in 1999. No body remembers Robot Wisdom, the Instapundit of his time. Persistance doesn't always pay off. Which shows I write for more than traffic, money, and chicks. Weblogging is fun. Obsessive, yes, but still fun.

Now, before this post gets too ungodly long I want to address Jessica McBride's concern that critics are bashing summit participants. I don't think I put anyone down except for WisPolitics who is organizing the summit. If anyone has a beef with me it's Ann Althouse because I compared her to Judith Miller. McBride is mentioned for her short time as a weblogger.

There's a difference between webloggers with an audience from their other work and webloggers like me who appeared out of no where like a quantum particle. In McBride's case I believe she was on Charlie Sykes' television show before starting her weblog. (If I'm wrong she'll let me know.) Even if that wasn't the case she knew Sykes and that was a way for her to get traffic. Reporters, lobbyists, and news junkies know Ed Garvey, Brian Fraley, and State Senator Mark Pocan. Professor John McAdams is a prominent figure on the Marquette University campus and has been on Sykes' radio show. Sykes has a radio transmitter to tell the area about his weblog. Their experiences as webloggers are much different than those of Owen Robinson and myself. Neither of us are journalists. We didn't immediately have people curious about our writing.

That doesn't make McBride, Sykes, et al any less "real" than more veteran webloggers. More voices in the blogosphere mean more readers and more interesting reading.

I've found out the WisPolitics gang heard the complaints and are trying to fix it by adding more webloggers. They're learning which is commendable.

The real downside is after all my bitching I might not be able to attend. I'm one of those who has to work on Saturdays. Getting a day off at this late a date isn't impossible but it isn't a sure thing. Scheduling the summit on a Saturday shows me WisPolitics partially understood the populist nature of weblogging. That's another plus in their corner. I'll do my best to be at the summit. With all the talk about it so far we know it won't be boring.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:39 PM | Comments (4)

Sad Excuse for a Weblog Summit

Mark March 18 on your calendar. Why? Because Brian Fraley said so. WisPolitics is hosting the inaugural WisPolitics/WisOpinion Blog Summit. Here's the line up of famous, semi-famous (this is the blogosphere we're talking about), and notables:


  • Ann Althouse
  • Charlie Sykes
  • Ed Garvey
  • Brian Fraley
  • State Rep. Mark Pocan
  • Jessica McBride
  • John McAdams

Ooo. It looks like a line up from a random broadcast of Sykes' Sunday Insight tv show.

Let me inform the powers that be that the beauty, interest, and dare I say it, power of the blogosphere isn't from people already involved in politics and media jumping onto the "next big thing." Its power comes from empowering voices of people who previously didn't have a voice or the ability to be easily heard.

Ann Althouse is smart and has a good weblog (she's on my blogroll), but she doesn't take on Wisconsin issues. She comments on national and international issues and rarely links to Wisconsin webloggers. She's not involved with the Wisconsin blogosphere be able to address the state of it. I don't want to have this sound like an insult toward Althouse but it's like Judith Miller keynoting the conference announcing Pajamas Media to the world. WisPolitics must have felt they needed some "big-name" weblogger to give their summit heft and Althouse is conveniently over in Madison.

Who's missing from the list above? There's not a single member fo the Badger Blog Alliance on that list. It's only the most important collective in the Wisconsin blogosphere. It's members gave life to the Milwaukee voter fraud story last year.

One person who would be perfect for the summit is Boots & Sabers' Owen Robinson. For state issues from a conservative perspective there's no better place to go. The guy not only has connections, is passionate, and can write, but he also does a darn good job speaking.

Or how about letting Fred at RealDebateWisconsin talk about how he turned his weblog into a one-man investigative reporting department by digging into Voces de la Frontera's harassment of State Senator Cathy Sepp?

Now, I'll look at how long the panelists have been in the blogosphere. State Sen. Pocan has only been posting since 01.03.06. Garvey has three years under his belt. Althouse, two years. Sykes, three-and-a-half. McBride, eight months. McAdams, consistently one year. Fraley, three months. TAM has been running for over six years. 74 months to be exact. That compares to a combined 127 months of those "vaunted" summit participants. That averages out to a little over 18 months of weblogging experience per weblogger.

Who has a better perspective? Who has the experience dealing with a new medium without having an already-existing audience from which to get readers (Althouse excepted)?

I do not blame the participants one bit for attending. If WisPolitics invited me to speak I would have jumped at the chance. My gripe isn't with the webloggers. It's with a mentality that can't see new, unique voices beyond what's in front of your face or who you're talking to on a daily basis.

P.S. [I'm starting to feel like Mickey Kaus] Who will be the weblogger of the year? I'm confident it will be one of the people above. It certainly isn't me, and after publishing this post my chances of ever getting it are less than zero.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:49 AM | Comments (5)

March 03, 2006

Did I Go Too Far? Part II

Charlie Sykes replies to my previous post:

Sean obviously believes that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

He writes: "If I were Reynolds I would have demanded Sykes directly accuse me of being anti-Catholic. If he would have refused I would have demanded an immediate apology. If none was offered I would have hung up."

Well, if I were Ann Coulter I would have demanded that Sean directly accuse me of being an anti-Muslim bigot. If he would have refused I would have demanded an immediate apology... etc."

I didn't accuse Reynolds of anti-catholic bigotry: I ASKED HIM THE QUESTION and gave him the opportunity to respond. I gave him the chance to repudiate Ovadal's anti-Catholic bigotry. You can listen to the exchange and make your own conclusions.

And yes, the Reynolds' connection is more than simply the printing. It includes the attendance at the conference.. which I referred to, when I asked him about his wider association.

Sean is quibbling.

Sean, who has no problem denouncing others, apparently objects to asking a question that gives others the chance to clarify their position. I missed his interview with Ann Coulter where he asked her to defend her self or gave her a chance to claridy her position.

So I guess I agree with him, but object to his execution. (heh.)

For the record: I am not at all convinced that Reynolds is, in fact, NOT anti-Catholic, since he declines to disasociate himself from Reynolds.

I must be the only person who was confused at the conversation. I listened to the Sykes-Reynolds exchange again. It still sounds like the Ovadal link came out of the blue. That may be because Reynolds called Sykes out of the blue. There just wasn't enough context for me. There was no reminder of his attendence at an Ovadal homosexual conference. For not remembering all Reynolds' extremist behavior I plead guilty. If I'm "quibbling" when I care about the logical process of discovering someone's core attitudes than I'm guilty of that too.

With the reaction from other BBA members I feel like I'm in right field (pun intended) on this one. It wouldn't be the first time.

A few years ago a liberal weblogger accused me of supporting Jim Crow laws. Since I wasn't even born when Jim Crow was in effect I knew the charge made no sense. In an e-mail I demanded an apology. I never got and haven't spoken to the person since. Maybe the best lesson I'll take from this is to begin my private accusations through less public mediums.

P.S. Ann Coulter is an anti-Muslim bigot. If she wants to discuss that with me I offer her plenty of space on my weblog.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:17 PM | Comments (5)

Charlie's Show Prep #57

No need to mention anything about obvious stories like the school voucher vote and Steve Avery.


  • Milwaukee's public smoking ban has been stalled...for now.

  • Congressman James Sensenbrenner lets us know how many violations of civil right were caused by the . Bush bashers won't be happy.

  • Congressmen are going over the deep end over the Dubai Ports World deal. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) doesn't want foreign firms investing in certain infrastructure. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) said, "While I strongly support our open investment policy and recognize that it is vital to our national economic interest, I do not believe it should stand at any cost." The fools forget we're a part of a globalized economy.

  • A New Jersey nurse who killed 22 people was sentenced to 11 life sentences.

  • Where did the Washington Post get their 1300 dead number?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:49 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2006

Did I Go Too Far?

This morning, I was very harsh with Charlie Sykes for how he treated State Senator Tom Reynolds. I called it a "cheap shot." Sykes responds:

Sean:

It was not a cheap shot.

Reynolds is quite selective in choosing who he does printing for. He does not print material for groups whose views he disagrees with. His association with Ovadal, actually runs deeper, including his participation in Ovadal-run conferences. And, yes, if a liberal who printed material for NAMBLA was running for office, I would expect that he would be asked about it, especially, if he also supported the groups' other activities.
The issue has been raised by the left; and will be an issue this fall.
The problem is that Reynolds is an extremist and it does no good to try to pretend that he's not a wingnut, simply because he often votes right. I asked him the questions and gave him the chance to respond. You can hear the questions and the answers on my website.

Charlie

I'm not backing away from what I wrote. I can only put myself in Sykes' and Reynolds' shoes. If I were Reynolds I would have demanded Sykes directly accuse me of being anti-Catholic. If he would have refused I would have demanded an immediate apology. If none was offered I would have hung up.

Accusing someone of bigotry demands evidence, not guilt-by-association. Charlie mentioned Reynolds participated in Ovadal-run conferences. I didn't hear that on the radio today. It's mentioned in a Spivak & Bice story from two years ago. My memory isn't that good. That's a much stronger piece of evidence to Reynolds' extremism. Just going after a business relationship isn't enough to me because if someone wanted to they could connect me with wackos of whatever stripe. One could make the argument that I endorse questionable currency speculation because one of this weblog's sponsors wants you to buy Iraqi currency. One could claim Sykes was a racist because his mentor was the late Michael Joyce who provided funding for Charles Murray's research on The Bell Curve. Sure it's very indirect and has little authority, but the danger with guilt-by-association is many will run with their initial impression.

If I were Sykes I would have questioned Reynolds about attending Ovadal-run conferences and would have ignored any of his printing work unless the material was anti-Catholic. Like the knee-jerk opposition to Dubai Ports World I want substance and actual facts.

Charlie is correct that the Right needs to attack its wack jobs and drive them away. From the time William F. Buckley kicked out the John Birch conspiracy nuts the movement has had a history of policing its own. Conservatism is a movement of reason, order, and decency. Bigots have no place in our big tent. Calling muslims "ragheads" has no place nor does Catholic-bashing. Sykes' intention is good I just didn't like his execution.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:12 PM | Comments (4)

Teresa Halbach's Death Detailed

Evil can be found anywhere, even near the place I grew up. Teresa Halbach's horrible, gruesome death shocks and saddens me.

Be wary, the reports are graphic.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:28 PM | Comments (4)

Charlie Went Too Far

State Senator Tom Reynolds reiterated on Charlie Sykes' show that he wants his amendment put into the school choice compromise. He drafted it and sent it off to Governor Doyle's office to see if he'd sign the bill with it. Expect Doyle to reject the amendment. He'd love nothing more than to claim he tried to fix the problem and blame it on the Republicans. Reynolds is falling into this trap.

Reynolds has not backed down from voting against the compromise unless it's dirtied up with his amendment.

Then Sykes tried a little guilt-by-association to browbeat Reynolds into voting for the bill. He questioned him about a Pastor Ovadal who has anti-Catholic views. Reynolds prints a homosexual pamphlet for the man.

Reynolds sounded quite surprised, and countered by asking if a lawyer opponent would be considered a supporter of pedophilia if she was hired by a child abuser. He right. Every view of Reynolds' customers isn't his responsiblity. He only has control over what he does. If Sykes wants to paint Reynolds as anti-Catholic he needs to offer evidence and not resort to a cheap shot.

Reynolds isn't getting off the hook. If the school choice bill falls because Reynolds votes against it I will oppose him for re-election.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:34 AM | Comments (15)

Charlie's Show Prep #56

  • State Rep. Leah Vukmir will run against State Senator Tom Reynolds if he votes against the compromise and it dies. If that happens I'll be one of the first to donate to the Vukmir campaign.

  • The death last October of an Oklahoma University student was probably a botched terrorist attack.

  • Reactions from justices at a Supreme Court hearing can seldom predict the decision. However, a few of them understood the common sense notion that politics is involved in congressional redistricting. Scalia kept up his reputation as funniest Supreme Court justice by blurting, "Wow. That's a surprise. Legislatures redraw maps all the time for political purposes."

  • has a tough tight rope to walk. Due to sweet pension and retirement benefits that put him into office he talks about "potential insolvency." With him running for governor any help from Madison won't come this year.

  • Ricardo Pimentel and the gang don't mind forcing on Wisconsin drivers.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:10 AM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2006

Senate Ethanol Vote

It doesn't appear there will not be one today, but from Owen Robinson's sources Senate Majority Leader Dave Schultz wants to force a vote soon.

"They Have The Votes"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #55

  • Getting an facility would beef up Wisconsin's biotech sector and help Gov. Doyle politically by showing this isn't such a bad state for business.

  • In the short term, the breakdown in could mean free agency buying opportunities for the Packers. However, if no deal is reached and the salary cap is nixed the players union has said they will never agree to go back to one. That would put the Packers at a serious disadvantage.

  • A monster in Washington County got 20 years for raping a 5-year old. Brian Homz did it to get back at the girl's mother.

  • Spivak & Bice take some cheap shots at J.J. Blonien. The two literalists can't understand hyperbole. The also pulled out some quotes from his columns that are pointed but hardly radical. But why is Blonien helping a judicial candidate who is described by S&B as "a political moderate with liberal leanings on social issues?"

  • President Bush made a surprise visit to Afghanistan.

  • Yesterday, I passed on that 1300 people died from Iraqi sectarian violence. Silly me, I trusted the MSM.

UPDATE: The great will retire from college coaching after this season.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:33 AM | Comments (5)

February 28, 2006

Reynolds' Bad Politics

It's important not to make the perfect the enemy of the good. Unfortunately on the school choice compromise that's what State Senator Tom Reynolds is doing. Tonight, on Jessica McBride's show on WTMJ he said he wouldn't support the compromise unless it included some indexing that would help Milwaukee property taxpayers. I wasn't sure what he meant, and even he admitted it was hard to explain.

It's good to be on the constant defense for taxpayers. Madison has too few representatives who do that, but the school choice bill isn't the time or the place. It's a toss-up on whether the State Senate will pass the bill. Governor Doyle has done nothing to get Democrats on board. The only Democrat who has said he'll vote for the bill is Jeff Plale.

Last night, McBride wrote,

He might be right on it in principle. But adding bells and whistles into the choice compromise could doom it. Other Republicans are telling me that this amendment is highly unlikely to pass the Senate (as indicated by the vote today in committee), and that it would likely doom the choice compromise in the Assembly, where rural Republicans feel they can't risk being seen as funneling more money to Milwaukee.

If this bill fails to pass and get signed by Doyle because of Reynolds he can kiss goodbye any chance of examining his school funding concerns. Politics involves compromise (especially when margins are this slim). Politics also involves payback. If Reynolds kills lifting the caps there will be a price he'll have to pay.

I'll echo McBride, "Get this compromise through first."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:08 PM | Comments (0)

TPA Public Hearing Tomorrow

Tomorrow there is an important public meeting in Pewaukee on the Taxpayer Protection Amendment. Here are the details provided to me by Americans for Prosperity:

Who: Senate Select Committee on Taxpayer Protection Amendmentand Assembly Committee on Ways and Means
Date: Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Country Springs Hotel, Woodfield Room, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee 53072
Topic: Senate Joint Resolution 63

Expect public employee unions, teacher unions, and those that refuse to believe local government can restrain its spending. Defenders of taxpayers' pocketbooks need to come out in force.

Owen Robinson will be there. I won't, but I'll be there in spirit.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:13 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #54

  • leaving the White House after the mid-term elections? That's the rumor. All it is is a rumor, but it's fun to play "Cheney's Replacement."

  • With a headline reading, "Paper: Coast Guard Has Port Co. Intel Gaps," I thought Dubai Ports World opponents might have a leg to stand on. John Hinderaker points out later on in the story the Coast Guard's concerns were placated by intelligence agencies.

  • 1300 people died in last week's violence in Iraq. However, "Life is coming back to normal in Baghdad and marketplaces and offices are open again after being shut for 4 days."

  • The spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to brand the organization's CEO, to get mentions on tv shows, and to court celebrities. [via Captain's Quarters]

  • Ricardo Pimentel and the gang didn't rip on the late . But they did call Milwaukee's voucher program "so-called school choice." What makes it "so-called?" With it poor families can choose what school to send their children. It sounds like choice to me.

  • Gee, I missed some fun at Martinifest. Rowdiness and puking. But with the low state of modern art it might be difficult to determine if you're looking at art or someone's vomit.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:58 AM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2006

Michael Joyce: a Tribute

When National Review's John Miller wrote A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America it gave him the opportunity to talk at length with Michael Joyce who ran the Olin Foundation before moving to the Bradley Foundation. Miller briefly collects a few of Joyce's accomplishments.

To have a glimpse into Joyce's influential mind I found this essay "On Self-Government" which attacks the progressive liberal project of the 20th Century. He concludes:

And so today, when progressivism says to us that there is no nature’s God, and so no divinely inscribed "self-evident truths" in the human soul, let us reply that without such truths, there is no sure foundation for human freedom and self-government. When progressivism insists that the human being is utterly free to create or express himself without limits, let us reply that "there can be no moral freedom without moral responsibility and accountability," and no political freedom without civic virtue. When progressivism insists that family, neighborhood, church, and voluntary association are parochial and repressive constraints on our self-expression, let us reply that only through such institutions can we as free people "exist, develop, and seek the higheer purposes of life in concert with others," and come to a proper understanding and practice of self-government.

With our past as the foundation of our hope, let us embrace this new struggle over the meaning of self-government, as the means by which we may once again refresh our flagging spirits at the wellsprings of our national character. Not daring, at such a critical moment, to rely solely upon our own arguments and devices, let us join Pope John Paul II in his prayer that "our country will experience a new birth of freedom, freedom grounded in truth and ordered to goodness."

"Michael S. Joyce, R.I.P." [via Charlie Sykes]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

Still a Snob

The JB Van Hollen campaign just "informed" me JB has a weblog. Obviously my e-mail address is on one of their media/weblogger lists and no one checked to see I already commented on the weblog. Nothing like an impersonal e-mail to make a weblogger feel special.

To be an equal-opportunity snob (since I have no horse in the state Attorney General race) Paul Bucher's weblog doesn't have permalinks to individual posts and no post authors listed. If I were interested in a post I'd like to directly link to it. And I'd like to know who wrote the post. If it was Paul, great. If it was a staffer, fine. I just want to put a name to the words. Another negative is many posts are squeezed together. The design reminds me of the first version of TAM when I hand coded it and uploaded it to Angelfire every night.

Bucher makes up for the weblog with CatchandReleaseKate.com. The concept is well thought out and it's substantial enough to be more than an online cheap shot.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #53

  • Lefty weblogs love . That's news only to those who don't read weblogs. (Yes, another example of me being a snob.)

  • Michael Joyce is a legend. Maybe the most-important conservative figure of the last 25 years no one has heard of. I know there are many conservatives who don't know who Joyce is and what he accomplished while running the Bradley Foundation. Some on the Left know his impact.

  • Iraq's curfews have been lifted. There's still bloodshed but Sunni and Shia leaders are calling for unity.

  • Pessimism has captured Bill Buckley. He writes, "the American objective in Iraq has failed," and has no faith in Iraqis' ability to self-govern. [via QandO]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:56 AM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #52

  • The public isn't fond of the UW system. No surprise.

  • The State Senate gave Gov. Doyle a "Real ID" bill. Will he veto it and prevent Wisconsinites from using their driver's licenses to board planes, or will he cave to the illegal immigrant lobby?

  • A Jackson monster used an electric dog collar on his stepdaughter so she would eat her breakfast faster.

  • Wal-Mart's getting railroaded by labor unions and state governments. So CEO said his company will do more to get more workers . I worry about Scott's desire for a government-business partnership to fix the healthcare system. To me that screams socialized medicine.

  • Alex Massie is right, "rocks." [via Tom McMahon]

  • Some are complaining about the new . Me, I'll be staring at the new .

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:56 AM | Comments (3)

February 23, 2006

When Wackos Strike

Some anti-war protesters didn't think Sen. Herb Kohl is pure enough:

The activists asked Kohl to endorse a timetable for troops to withdraw from Iraq as fellow Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold has done. They also called on Kohl to vote against a supplemental spending bill that includes about $72 billion more for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The group surrounded Kohl following his introduction by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Libby Burmaster. Kohl was preparing to make brief remarks before debuting a 10-minute campaign video to a crowd of about 150 supporters in the theater's lobby.

Instead, Kohl stood and listened attentively to the activists as his supporters looked on in disbelief.


"The Extreme Left vs. The Left"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:57 PM | Comments (1)

#1 Difference Between Walker & Green

Scott Walker correctly points out the biggest difference between Rep. Mark Green and himself is on ethanol:

The biggest philosophical difference between the two of us is on the ethanol mandate. While I support farmers (I grew up in a rural town and my mother was born and raised on a farm), I don't support mandates. Incentives are great, but don't mandate the type of gas that we must use in Wisconsin.

Especially in Southeast Wisconsin this issue will hurt Green. With his strange understanding of monopoly I worry if the Congressman will be able to effectively advocate sound, pro-growth, conservative economic policy. On ethanol Walker beats him hands down. Let's see if he can turn that into a real advantage.

Owen Robinson checked the State Senate calendar and saw "no Ethanol on it."

"WTMJ AM 620 Success"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:28 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #51

  • A bill that would end paying accused of crimes passed a State Assembly committee. The police union is already threatening to sue.

  • The bombing of shrine doesn't bode well for stability in Iraq.

  • The Washington Times gives a clearer picture of how valuable the United Arab Emirates has been post-Sep. 11. A big port, a big airfield, and an important location (across the Persian Gulf from Iran) make me understand why the Dubai Ports World deal was allowed to go through. Too bad the editorial page sees nothing good about the deal.

  • The feds required a secret condition to the ports deal: on-demand access to operations records.

  • Harvard is a divided campus with president ' resignation. Now, watchers wonder what direction the university will take.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:02 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2006

Walker vs. Green I

Charlie Sykes did very well by hosting the first on-air debate between Rep. Mark Green and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Through much of the debate/discussion I couldn't see glaring differences between the two. Both are conservatives, generally, want to lower taxes and get government off our backs. For conservatives and Republicans trying to figure out who to support the ability to win is the most important criteria. Walker can tell us all he wants that he's been attacked by Doyle flunkies for years the ad put out by the Greater Wisconsin Committee means Green is the front-runner. Polls give him the lead and his support is more state-wide.

Still, there is one big difference between the two: ethanol. Walker won't mandate that gasoline contain 10% ethanol while Green would consider it as long as it didn't burden business. But that's exactly what mandates do. Green worries about our gasoline dollars funding terrorists. If consumers are so concerned about that then they'll consider that at the gas pump. A state mandate rips away that ability to choose. It takes away people's self-govenance. Ironically Green later said he opposed smoking bans in bars and resturants because people have free will. So he thinks they can make decisions about second-hand smoke but can't for what they put in their cars.

I harp on ethanol because Walker and Green are very similar. They both want to cut taxes, control spending, and improve Wisconsin's business climate. Either man will be a much, much better governor than Jim Doyle.

Gov. Doyle, being a wimp, didn't bother to accept Sykes' invitation. I guess he didn't want to be on the same stage as the man who will replace him.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:11 PM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #50

  • 44% of voters don't want to run for President in 2008. 48% want Condi Rice to run. I'm going to have to reevaluate my mental preparation for a President Hillary.

  • Republicans in Madison strike again in their quest to remove any sense of limited government from their party's mantra. The State Senate passed a bill required 10% of Wisconsin energy to come from . It's like mandated ethanol: if it's such a good idea consumer will drive companies to do this. Sen. Tom Reynolds will end up being right that this will only lead to higher energy bills.

  • began his re-election campaign by showing off his new DVD. I wonder if there's any director's commentary?

  • is resigning as president of Harvard.

  • Gitmo prisoners "had contact with the terrorist cell responsible for carrying out last July's ." Yes, let's close the place up and let the monsters out to kill some more.

  • Owners of , the show dog that got loose at Kennedy Airport in New York are so desparate they're resorting to psychics' help.

UPDATE: Silly me. Charlie Sykes has been a little busy today.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:21 AM | Comments (3)

February 21, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #49

  • The local NAACP chapter tosses out the race card by declaring the vote to remove corrupt Lee Holloway as Milwaukee County Board Chairman as tantamount to a "lynching." Holloway then has the audacity to try and squeeze the ethics board investigating him by cutting off funding.

  • Eugene Kane admits he only watches the Winter Olympics when black people are competing. I'll be cheering for Shani Davis, not because he's black, but because he's good. Just imagine if a white columnist, talk radio yapper, or weblogger wrote they only watched the NBA when white people were on the court. They'd be castigated with Kane yelling the loudest. It's shameful the Journal Sentinel continues to pay for his racist words.

  • What does McDonald's get for admitting its French fries contain wheat and milk products? Lawsuits. Why bother? Companies get sued either way.

  • Dubai Ports World's plans to run six U.S. ports is even more dead. Republican governors Pataki and Ehrlich oppose it. Stick a fork in it, it's done.

  • Though a vile "historian" being sent to an Austrian jail as a holocaust denier places a black mark on free speech in Europe.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #48

  • 's bid to run six U.S. ports is doomed. Screaming politicians and webloggers were bad enough but a Miami company is suing.

  • A British Islamic scholar sees a future where "parts of English cities which are controlled by Muslim clerics and which follow, not the common law, but aspects of Muslim sharia law."

  • People are suspicious about Jimmy Johnson's victory. It might have something to do with the fact his crew chief was kicked out off the race track earlier in the week for cheating. [This will proabably be the only mention of NASCAR on TAM all year. Soak it up.]

  • Speaking of cheaters, Barry Bonds decided to retire before deciding against it.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:20 AM | Comments (0)

Found Him

snowthug.jpg

I knew that stalker sneaking around my house looked familiar.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:07 AM | Comments (1)

February 18, 2006

Smaller Local Government in Name Only

On shrinking local government Jessica McBride worries:

If we can't get government officials to adhere to the conservative principle of smaller government in the most conservative county [Waukesha] in this state, we are in big trouble.

It's not just her neck of the woods. Washington County, arguably as conservative as Waukesha, won't ditch a sales tax.

"The Bloated Waukesha County Board: It Takes a Lot to Support those 35 Supervisors"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:42 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2006

Beware of the Red Marching Hordes

The Glorious Red Shock Army is marching upon Waukesha. They'll stand even less of a chance than Carroll College did against undeated Lawrence University.

Now, that's the way old Soviet propaganda should be used, mockingly. It's much better than Johnny Weir and his naive fondness for all things Russian.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:26 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #47

  • The White House has agreed that Congress should pass a law allowing the NSA's controversial spying program.

  • Sen. Russ Feingold is being extreme again Despite the Senator claiming the renewal of the Patriot Act was being "rammed" through Congress 96 Senators voted to end debate. At least the Kosites will still love him.

  • An attempt to get a pro-war question on the ballot failed in Whitefish Bay.

  • A bill is working its way through the state capitol that would stop paying Milwaukee police officers who were suspended and charged with crimes.

  • No charges will be filed in Vice President Cheney's hunting accident. And there's even worse news for the MSM: Harry Whittington could leave the hospital in a few days.

  • Journalism professor Jay Rosen sees how Cheney's hunting accident displayed the administration's far different approach to the MSM. This administration (rightly) believes the MSM is another special interest that doesn't necessarily represent the public. Bush is the first President to understand the new information age. If they want to get their message out they don't need to rely on the liberal, east coast media. There's talk radio, Fox News, webloggers. They treat the MSM like packets treat obstructions on the internet: they route around them.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:24 AM | Comments (7)

February 16, 2006

Pretty Pictures

Ann Althouse's snow pictures make mine look like those made by a six-year old given his first Polaroid camera.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:57 PM | Comments (0)

Well Stocked

Don't worry about me being trapped in my home during the storm. I've got some food to keep me alive.

spam.jpg

There'll be no version of Alive here.

Don't forget to laug read about Wendy's trek into the snow.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:51 PM | Comments (3)

Now I Know How NYC Felt

What was I thinking?

snowstorm1.jpg

Theoretically I was to work this morning. I went through my normal preparations, brushed off my car, and got on the highway. From my house it looked like traffic was moving fine. Only when I started zooming south did I notice visibility was less than one-quarter of a mile with snow blowing all around me. After pulling over at the first exit I called it to let the boss know I wouldn't be coming in. He told me everything was fine down there (30 miles away), just rain.

So I turned around and came back home, slip sliding all the way. A little shoveling was done when I heard of all things thunder. Thunder during a snow storm. I've lived in Wisconsin's winter wonderland almost my entire life, and I've never heard thunder during a snowstorm. Snow is now coming down at about one inch per minute. Our wimpy winter has gone the way of the dodo.

snowstorm2.jpg

Mother Nature has giving me a free day. Hmm... what to do? My only real priority is to move some snow around. The rest is up to me. One thing I can do is get a good start into Glenn Reynolds' new book An Army of Davids.

UPDATE: It's 52 degrees in New York City! Get some of that over here.

There are more pictures below the fold.

snowstorm3.jpg

snowstorm4.jpg

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:58 AM | Comments (3)

Charlie's Show Prep #46

  • George Will delivers the toughest words from any conservative on the White House's NSA spying arguments. He calls it a "monarchical doctrine" but urges Congress to "make all necessary actions lawful by authorizing the president to take those actions, with suitable supervision."

  • Vice President Dick Cheney took responsibility for last weekend's hunting accident. The Journal Sentinel's Tim Cuprisin writes, "It's no surprise that Cheney picked Fox News Channel and its Washington managing editor, Brit Hume, to break his silence." After the White House press corps went goofy Monday I'd avoid them too.

  • Lawrence O'Donnell (of The West Wing fame) started the "Was Cheney drunk?" meme floating inside the heads of Bush bashers. Hugh Hewitt called him on it. O'Donnell mentioned Chappaquiddick six times. Poor Teddy.

  • The Huffington Post wants to destory what little credibility it has by insinuating Cheney was on the hunting trip with his mistress who happens to be the ambassador to Switzerland.

  • Drudge reminds us Senate Minority Leader hid his mini-stroke from the press for three days.

  • Republicans are fighting to keep earmarks in the budget process. Some people just don't get it (and shouldn't be called conservatives).

  • A Louisiana congressman might be indicted. Yes, shocking.

  • American media shows new Abu Ghraib abuse photos but won't show the Muhammad cartoons.

  • Some Canadians think it would be a good idea to erect a statue in honor of Vietnam War draft dodgers.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:05 AM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #45

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:18 AM | Comments (14)

February 14, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #44

  • The push for the begins Wednesday with a hearing of handpicked groups for and against. I'm wary of a 9-page 2500 word amendment. The eloquence of the U.S. constitution this isn't. But Americans for Prosperity approve.

  • Washington Post writer (he no longer deserves the title "reporter") Dana Milbank went on MSNBC in hunting garb. I would hope the Post's editors will have the good sense to publish him only on their op-ed page. Blanton at RedState wants the MSM "to get over yourself."

  • Want some real news involving a Vice President or at least a former one? AlGore bashing America in Saudi Arabia.

  • An Iraq War veteran popular with hardcore Democrats and who has criticized President Bush was pushed out of running for the Senate.

  • Batman vs. al Qaeda.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:18 AM | Comments (1)

February 13, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #43

Back in Wisconsin means it's back to the grind. No offense, Charlie.

  • With the NSA spying flap Democrats are offering a way to not have a constitutional battle with unintended consequences. Rep. Jane Harman and former Senator Tom Daschle both said the NSA's actions are necessary. The way out of this is for Congress to pass a bill clearly allowing warantless wiretapping that's currently happening. The President could sign it but still claim he has executive authority. He'd treat the law like all Presidents treat the War Powers Act. This argument isn't so much politics as a battle of egos. The Democrats think they finally have an issue to really hurt the President with (they don't), and Karl Rove loves labeling Democrats as "soft on terrorism."

  • Immigration is a big issue in the conservative movement. If you read TAM a few days ago you'd already know that. If you read the right side of the blogosphere you'd know the issue has been simmering for a while. Still, Craig Gilbert writes about how Republicans could be harmed. Noteworthy is Rep. Paul Ryan calling CPAC participants "more isolationist, protectionist, not pro-immigration." That's true of an event that still treats Phyllis Schlafly as a rock star. Ryan mustn't be looking for friends on that side of the movement.

  • Ann Coulter's "raghead" remark goes international with this article in the Financial Times. Again, thanks for nothing, Ann.

  • Republicans, Republicans! will criticize the Bush administration's Hurricane Katrina efforts.

  • A number of tech companies will explain their China policies before Congress.

  • I was almost going to thank Eugene Kane for this column chastising those who turned Coretta Scott King's funeral into a Bush bashing rally. I was going to until the last paragraph: "Sometimes, you can't keep folks from acting out. Particularly when they think they have a darn good reason." He's hopeless.

  • Expect a fatawah against the internet to be released today.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:47 AM | Comments (1)

February 10, 2006

Actions Not Words

Gov. Jim Doyle would sacrifice unborn humans for Wisconsin jobs.

Wisconsin, Doyle said, is a leader in research on the medical benefits of stem cells, which carries strong potential for commercial application in the pharmaceutical industry.

"There are states all over the country that are desperately trying to catch up to us," Doyle said.

Doyle told reporters after his speech that legislative proposals to restrict stem cell research would hurt efforts to develop jobs from that research.


Last year, Doyle vetoed a bill banning human cloning. It would hurt Wisconsin's economy he argued. He said, "Screw you," to everyone who doesn't think economic growth should come from an ethical morass.

While the promise of a stem cell industry in Wisconsin is far in the state's economic future the governor ignores recent events that will have an economic impact much sooner. An Alcoa executive spelled some of them out:

But Wisconsin also carries some disadvantages in competing with other Midwestern states for business investment, said Wilkinson, who is vice president of Alcoa North America's public strategies group.

[Tim] Wilkinson told the audience that the state's advantages include an availability of real estate for business expansions; improvements in the tax and regulatory structure, and dedicated, smart people who work in the economic development field.

Disadvantages, he said, include high energy costs; taxes that remain relatively high; questions about the long-term commitment to funding highway improvements; and publicity from recent rulings by the state Supreme Court on product liability and medical malpractice issues.


Doyle had the ability to improve both the product liability and medical malpractice laws. He vetoed both of them. On the economy his talk is cheap.

"Wisconsin Must Stay at Forefront of Stem Cell Research, Doyle Says"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:30 AM | Comments (5)

February 09, 2006

Asterisk Candidates

With black candidate Lynn Swan and Ken Blackwell having legitimate shots in governor's races Charlie Sykes asks the Journal Sentinel editorial board, "If they win, will they be African-American 'leaders'.... or asterisks?"

[Crickets chirping]

"Asterisks?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2006

Mark Green on Doyle Scandals and Ethanol

My flight to Washington, D.C. had two passengers many of my readers will be familiar with. Scott Jensen, who's trying to stay out of jail, was on my flight as well as Rep. Mark Green who is running for governor. I didn't get a chance to speak with Jensen, but I did get to ask Rep. Green a couple questions while walking through the airport.

On the Rich Judge remaining on Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign staff while admitting to have broken the law by campaigning as a staff member in the legislature Green said, "It's obviously a judgment Gov. Doyle has to make. We all have to be accountable for our actions." He continued, "We have a stain on state government right now." Green wants to talk about issues. Instead, he's having to listen to people's concern about corruption in state government. "Everywhere I go people express their anxiety" about Doyle's scandals.

I then wanted him to clarify if he supported mandating ethanol in gasoline. Green said, "I wouldn't support any ethanol requirement if it adds to the regulatory burden on business." The reason he's sympathetic to ethanol is he thinks petroleum has a monopoly. "98% of all the gasoline in America is totally petroleum-based. There is no choice right now.... I want to see people have real choices." His idea of what monopoly is is far from conventional thinking. When econonmists think of monopolies they mean a sole producer of a good or service. In the early 20th Century many feared John Rockefeller building a monopoly through his Standard Oil. Today, there are multiple companies selling gas. There may be collusion but there's no monopoly. Also, no one is stopping gas stations from selling ethanol-blended gas. With the bad experiences Southeast Wisconsin has had with reformulated gas the only way consumers in the rest of the state will buy the inferior fuel is to be forced by the government. Rep. Green is wrong. There is choice, and the choice being made is not to buy ethanol.

Another odd element to Green's answer was he doesn't want to add further "regulatory burden on business." Any kind of government mandate would do so. So conceivably any ethanol bill that came before him as governor would be vetoed. This sounds like Green's way of supporting the ethanol industry while trying to improve Wisconsin's business climate.

I'll make the recording of my brief interview with Rep. Green available as the next episode of my podcast Speak later tonight. For now, it's time to do a little sightseeing.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:37 PM | Comments (4)

Charlie's Show Prep #42

Call this the "I'm on my way to Washington, D.C." edition:


  • Bush bashers "Wellstoned" Coretta Scott King's funeral. President Carter took a shot at President Bush by mentioning how the government wiretapped the Kings. Rev. Joseph Lowery said, "We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there." He received a standing ovation for that jab. All the while President Bush sat a few feet away and took it. President Clinton took the narcissistic route and made his speech all about him and Hillary. What does the Left end of the blogosphere do: they cheer. Here's video of Carter and Lowery.

  • There will much talk at CPAC about . To add to the discussion studies have found immigrants create good job growth in cities.

  • If I weren't in D.C. this Saturday I'd be at watching a hockey game.

  • Pepsi will soon come out with a Ben & Jerry's drink. If it tastes as good and their oatmeal cookie ice cream they'll have a winner with me.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:31 AM | Comments (9)

February 07, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #41

  • In his State of the County address [PDF] Scott Walker showed that despite the fiscal obstacles dropped into his lap by Tom Ament's corrupt pension deals he's holding the line on property taxes. Now, he has go navigate the county through mounting retiree benefit costs. This will be very difficult and could involve state legislation. If actual executive experience mattered in the GOP race to challenge Gov. Doyle Walker would have an edge over Rep. Mark Green.

  • Wisconsin had the distinction of leading the nation in Iraq War referendums. Racine might join the loony Lefty party. These votes are pointless. Local government has no ability to affect the Iraq War in any way. They're a waste of time, emotions, and in the case of Watertown legal fees.

  • Louisiana Governor whined about President Bush not talking about New Orleans enough in last week's State of the Union. But no "thank you's" for the $8 billion in federal money for housing.

  • In a case of abuse Philadelphia tried to take away a woman's home so two Catholic orders could build a school. An appeals court put the nix on that.

  • Justice Souter is safe from being evicted by the ruling he voted for last year.

  • Winter Olympic athletes who test positive for drugs will not only face punishment from international sports bodies but could face Italian prosecution.

  • Brazil's government will hand out 25 million free condoms during Carnival. "It's that time of year when we boost distribution because of the increase in demand," an official from the Health Ministry's anti-AIDS program said. That's an understatement.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:34 AM | Comments (2)

February 06, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #40

  • Can the President order a terrorist killed on U.S. soil? In particular circumstances I should think so. I watch too much 24 so I can imagine wild scenes that probably have no baring with reality. Then again the only people who thought about flying airplanes into buildings were thriller writers and al-Qaeda. In certain circumstances police are allowed to shoot people. Logically it's reasonable to extend that ability onto the President.

  • For some the World Can't Wait...to kill President Bush. Those few demonstrated in Washington, D.C.

  • George W. Bush = Richard Nixon. That's what MoveOn.org wants you to think. [via AdJab]

  • Every once in a while Tim Cuprisin gets it right: this year's Super Bowl ads were boring. The only one I really liked was office workers destroying their office in search of Bud Lights. Anheuser-Busch also won with a hot chick getting tackled in the Michelob Ultra Amber ad. (Ladies, don't feel bad, the babe got her revenge.) There's still no way in hell I'm ever drinking a low-carb beer. Burger King should be beaten over the head with the awful, horrible, dumb, incomprehensible, unsexy "Whopperettes" ad.

  • That yelling you hear in that Riverwest bar is just some guy who lost in the Madden Mondays league.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:24 AM | Comments (5)

February 03, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #39

  • Sheikh Yussef al-Qaradawi called for an "" today to protest Muhammad cartoons.

  • Patrick Fitzgerald hasn't refuses to devulge if he'll accuse Scooter Libby or any White House official of outing Valarie Plame as a CIA agent. He's just focusing on proving Libby lied to investigators and a grand jury. This has turned into the Martha Stewart trial where Libby will be accused of lying about crimes the prosecution can't prove.

  • Intelligence agency leaders want the sources of sensational intel leaks to be found and prosecuted.

  • Tim Cuprisin actually defends the over-coverage of Bob Woodruff's and Doug Vogt's war injuries:
    There's a simple reason behind the disparity: The anchor of a network newscast is known to millions of people who tune in nightly - in ABC's case, about 9 million.

    An injured soldier or firefighter or police officer is known to family and friends and neighbors.

    ...

    The national news media usually needs more of a hook to tell a story, either a unique personal story or a big name to give a face to the faceless thousands.

    That's where Woodruff comes in. After all, such a high-profile wounding in a roadside bombing helps remind us of the thousands of Americans who have been wounded in Iraq.


    Yeah right. The media got all teary-eyed over Woodruff and Vogt because they care about the troops. Give me a break. If the MSM really cared they'd cover more of the positive things happening in Iraq instead of counting bodies. There's not lack of material. Here's a good place to start. The fact is the MSM is a narcissistic tribe who circles the wagon around their own.

  • Someone stuffed a deer down a manhole.

  • A naked man in Wittenberg, WI attacked two cars. The cars won, but with permanent scarring.

  • was voted as Australia's hottest babe ever. Good choice.

  • scored 113 points in a high school game. Too bad she isn't going to play for the Badgers. They could use her.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2006

Disgusting Death Threats

It's one thing to take your state representative to task to being a flip-flopper. It's another to scare his wife with death threats:

Democratic Rep. John Steinbrink said that his wife received two threatening calls to their home late Tuesday afternoon after he voted to sustain Gov. Jim Doyle's veto of the concealed carry bill.

Steinbrink said that the calls were frightening to his wife, Roberta, so he asked Pleasant Prairie police to keep an eye on his home.


To whoever called in that threat you obviously aren't civilized enough to carry a concealed weapon let alone advocate for it. Go back under that rock you crawled out of.

"Key Lawmaker In Concealed Carry Vote Receives Death Threats" [via Boots & Sabers]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

Welcome Back

Spotted Horse has raised its formerly dead head. [No, I don't think Chris is a Dead Head. He kills animals for sport. Dead Heads just kill their own brain cells. --ed]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:25 PM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #38

  • Chuck Chvala goes to jail for campaigning with state resources and all the Milwaukee County prosecutor could calculate for restitution was $2044. Chvala ran the Democrats' entire state senate campaign, and we know 14 worked in his office. Brian Burke has to pay $75,000, and he wasn't as involved as the former State Senate Majority Leader. This smells.

  • Washington County proves even a conservative area won't kill a tax. A county sales tax was created in 1999 for property tax relief. The county board loves the money so much they want to make it permanent.

  • The Washington Post reports on how Justice Alito (damn, that sounds good) got confirmed. In a nutshell: "While Judiciary Committee Republicans and their staff worked closely with the White House and their conservative allies to prepare for the hearings, Democrats were unfocused and divided over their strategy." Thus the winning side has a smiling Alito on the Supreme Court while the losers wonder what Sen. Kennedy was thinking turning red on the Senate floor.

  • Israeli troops clashed with Israeli youth in the dismantling of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land.

  • Last week, Western Union stopped sending telegrams.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:26 AM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #37

  • Clueless Cindy Sheehan does it again. She got a ticket into the House gallery for the SotU speech only to get arrested for demonstrating. Steven Taylor wonders, "She squandered a remarkable amount of free PR–and for what?"

  • ended his 18-year reign over the Federal Reserve. We now enter the Ben Bernanke era.

  • The tour manager who lit the pyrotechnics that set a Rhode Island nightclub on fire killing 100 people in 2003 agreed to a plea bargain.

  • Last year, Democrats improve on their fundraising while Republicans faltered. Could the GOP have a disenchanted base? Still, the GOP has a significant financial edge.

  • Forget Oscar nominations when we have the Razzies.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:49 AM | Comments (2)

January 31, 2006

Assembly Fails to Override Concealed Carry Veto

In a remarkable example of flip-flopping Democratic Assemblymen Terry Van Akkeren of Sheboygan and John Steinbrink of Pleasant Prairie both backed Gov. Doyle's veto when they initially voted for the bill. I wonder what the two Faith No More fish got out of handing their votes and credibility to Doyle?

Owen @ Boots & Sabers live-blogged it. Kevin @ Lakeshore Laments hears someone will be filing papers to challenge Rep. Van Akkeren.

"Concealed Weapons Veto Override Falls Short"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:32 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #36

  • Sen. Kennedy went crazy on the Senate floor in his failed attempt at a filibuster. His red, balloon face almost exploded. From hearing Teddy you'd think Judge Alito's goal was to subjugate women, minorities, and the disabled. If only Sen. Kennedy were as passionate on 07.18.1969 as he was yesterday.

  • Good news for GOP Congressional races. blew through a ton of money and Democratic leaders are ticked there won't be much for fall's elections.

  • Pot banging and an "Impeachment Forum" are two ways far-Leftists are countering President Bush's State of the Union speech.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:58 AM | Comments (14)

January 30, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #35

Charlie Sykes might not need any material. He could spend 3 1/2 hours letting callers rant and nash their teeth about Brett Favre. Here's some non-Packers material anyway:

  • Cindy Sheehan will camp outside President Bush's ranch this April, and fellow wacko Hugo Chavez supports her and even told her to run for President.

  • Senators Biden and Obama think the filibuster is an unwise political tactic. Still, they're going to try it anyway. With opponents like this it's no wonder the Republicans get more lazy and stupid.

  • President Bush wants to push health saving accounts. I hope he does better with this than he did with Social Security.

  • Tom Barrett and others are already lamenting the bill. That's a good sign the State Assembly will override Gov. Doyle's veto.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:51 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #34

  • SE Wisconsin residents want more regional cooperation but not higher taxes.

  • Since Hamas won this week's Palestinian elections we should start learning who its leaders are. They might be the ones we and the Israelis will be killing if the group doesn't give up terrorism.

  • Sens. Kerry and Kennedy will attempt to fillibuster Judge Alito's nomination. But they lost Old Man Byrd.

  • A Virginia state representative (they call them "delegates") accidentally fired his in the state Capitol.

  • California doesn't have the guts to outright ban tobacco use. Instead they're whittling way personal freedom by declaring tobacco smoke a "toxic air contaminant."

  • And don't forget all the good stuff I put together about Oprah's beatdown of James Frey.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:01 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2006

Questions for Russ

Over at the BBA I asked for questions to ask Sen. Russ Feingold at his Menominee Falls listening session tomorrow. I got five, all from one person. Thanks, tee bee. I think.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:09 PM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #33

  • In 2002 a Justice Department lawyer told a Senate panel that "It may not be the case that the probable cause standard has caused any difficulties in our ability to seek the FISA warrants we require." Bush bashers see this statement as undermining the administration's arguments defending NSA domestic surveillance. If the President already has surveillance powers under Article II then arguing over FISA standards is moot.

  • Some are tossing around the "impeachment" word. A wacked-out Lefty has already raised $52,000 to back pro-impeachment Democrats. All it does is put a smile on Karl Rove's face.

  • Joel Stein's troop-bashing column wasn't his first attempt. Stephen Spruiell found a sarcastic "recruiting pamphlet" Stein wrote for The New Yorker.

  • 's stock is at a 52-week high. I wonder if any of it has to do with their 5-year plan to "remove all of it’s manufacturing operations out of Milwaukee." Improve the business climate to keep companies in Wisconsin.

  • New Orlean's mayor Ray Nagin doesn't understand why people jumped on his "" remark. Well, what would be the reaction if Scott Walker called for a "Vanilla Milwaukee?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:16 AM | Comments (4)

January 25, 2006

Only the Law-Abiding Obey Gun Laws

This Mallard Fillmore strip should be on every State Assemblyman's desk before they vote to override Gov. Doyle's veto of the concealed carry bill.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:37 PM | Comments (5)

Charlie's Show Prep #32

Tomorrow's show will probably be all "Adelman all the time." Still, here are some other stories that should be mentioned on this morning's show:

  • Mexican military vehicles helping smuggle marijuana into the U.S. were confronted by lesser-armed border patrol and FBI agents. [via Michelle Malkin]

  • A parole officer who spent so much of his day look at online porn that he was getting 10 hours of overtime a week got his job back along with back pay. Wisconsin's taxpayers thank A. Henry Hempe for his "wisdom."

  • Oshkosh Truck is testing a driverless military truck based on Terramax which completed the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge.

  • is suing the author of an unauthorized biography for $5 billion. In TrumpNation Timothy O'Brien claims Trump is only worth $150-250 million.

  • From the gross file: adult diapers are flying off the shelves in China. Many will be traveling on trains for Chinese New Year and they'll be enduring rides on crowded trains with not enough bathrooms.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:35 AM | Comments (0)

Disappointed

It's obvious I have no pull in the Badger Blogosphere. I urged some creative, talented type to pump out a photoshop job inspired by Charlie Sykes' new nickname. I've seen zilch, zip, zero. You've let me down. If you're having trouble I found a weblog post to help you out.

"Freakish Zombie in 11 Steps!" [via digg]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:08 AM | Comments (1)

January 24, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #31

  • President Bush lets loose a full-court defense of NSA surveillance.

  • From Ambassador John Bolton we hear that President Bush believes a "nuclear Iran is not acceptable." I can't see anything but airstrikes on Iran while 140,000 troops are in Iraq. The options I see don't look good.

  • Should Iran be attacked Iraq's Moqtada Sadr vowed to come to her defense.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:34 AM | Comments (0)

Mark Reardon Axed

Mark Reardon getting fired because of "budget adjustments" bums me out. His show kept AM radio entertaining for me at night when other station's signals fade into the background radiation. (I'm staring at you WISN.) He is to the right, but not as much as Charlie Sykes or Mark Belling. He tossed in a lot of pop culture which was refreshing. Now, I'm stuck with more Clark Howard, the dweebiest man on radio. He dishes out plenty of good information, but the man's a nerd.

Sadly, WTMJ's website "airbrushed" Reardon from its web site. His name is gone from talk roster, but a page still exists that simply reads:

Newsradio 620 WTMJ regrets to announce that Mark Reardon has left the station, as the result of 2006 station budget adjustments.

Mark has been a loyal, hard-working employee and we sincerely thank him for his years of service to WTMJ and its listeners.

WTMJ wishes him the very best as his career goes forward.


Who knows how long that page will remain? At least Charlie Sykes was nice enough to post a goodbye.

I have a suggestion for Mark: podcasting. He'd be good at it, and he'd have a lot more freedom.

Kevin @ Lakeshore Laments is also disappointed while Owen @ Boots & Sabers thinks there's more to the story. Don't expect Tim Cuprisin to get you the answers. He doesn't like "squawk radio."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:21 AM | Comments (5)

January 23, 2006

BRAINS!!!!

Oh captain, my captain! Lead me!


sykes-zombies.jpg


(I'm expecting some extreme photoshopping. Don't let me down.)

UPDATE: Sorry, Charlie. I'm no photoshopper. The was was just something I found on the net. I hope someone with the skills could do something. I just provided the inspiration.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:15 AM | Comments (5)

Charlie's Show Prep #30

  • Thousands of pro-life supporters advance on Washington, D.C. for this year's March for Life.

  • Family Care, Milwaukee County's care program for low-income elderly, is already $1.8 million short on revenue. This is due to a clash with the state on funding. Expect critics to use this, along with the Parks Department's budget problems to attack Scott Walker for being incompetent and undeserving of being Wisconsin's next governor.

  • scored 81 points...in one game! It's the second-most in NBA history only behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100 in 1962. Unlike Chamberlain's feat Bryant has video of his achievement. Michael Jordan's best-scoring game was 69 in 1990. With his performance Bryant has launched himself into NBA legendary status and he's only 27.

  • Newsweek tries to scare its readers with a story on the Pentagon's "Other Big Brother." Power Line's notes, "All that has happened is that someone wrote a report about the demonstration." The writer of the story is none other than Michael Isikoff infamous for his false Koran desecration story.

  • Kohl's innovates by tailoring individual stores' inventory to the size of its customers.

  • The future of the internet is at hand: some telecoms want to double dip by charging websites like Google for access to their networks as well as charge customers (i.e. you and me) for net access. Let individuals decide how they want to use the internet. It's been working well for this long.

UPDATE: I found one more good one. People are revolting over tech school's taxation without representation. Jessica McBride should take some credit for pushing this issue. Also on the Family Care story Scott Walker sent McBride an e-mail disputing the newspaper's assertions.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:09 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2006

Grand Jury Investigates Doyle

With his low poll numbers Gov. Jim Doyle will have a hard enough time fighting off either Scott Walker or Mark Green this fall. The last thing he wants to deal with in an election year is a grand jury investigation:

Authorities have convened a federal grand jury to review whether campaign donations to Gov. Jim Doyle played a role in the state awarding a $750,000 contract to Adelman Travel.

As part of the same investigation, officials are looking into political contributions made around the time the state approved the sale of a nuclear power plant, a source familiar with the inquiries said Saturday.

Doyle aide Dan Leistikow said the Democratic governor had not been called before the grand jury.

"The governor has not spoken to any investigators," he said. "We have no idea whether there's a grand jury or not. As the governor has said many times, he's more than happy to talk to anyone who's reviewing this because everything he's aware of, this (Adelman Travel) contract was awarded to a Wisconsin company that was the lowest bidder. That's all he knows about it."


If and when U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic calls Doyle before the grand jury expect Lefty flacks like Bill Christoferson will pound on him for turning the investigation into a partisan Starr-like witch hunt.

"Grand Jury Examines Contract"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2006

Plea Agreement in Tire Slashing Case

Milwaukee District Attorney E. Michael McCann's office is known as a plea bargain machine. Conservatives were pleasantly surprised when his office took the Milwaukee 5 to trial. Prosecutors went through eight days of testimony and arguments and put it in the jury's hands. Until a few hours ago it seemed like we would have a verdict, but that wasn't the case. Prosecutors gave up at the first sign of a deadlocked jury and cut-and-run by handing out plea bargains:

In an unexpected twist in the Election Day tire slashing trial, four former Kerry-Edwards campaign staffers, including the sons of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) and former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt, have agreed to plead no contest to misdemeanors. Prosecutors will recommend probation sentences as part of the deal.

The plea agreements came in the middle of jury deliberations after an eight-day trial on felony property damage charges that carried potential 3 1/2 year prison terms upon conviction.

The surprise resolution was offered by prosecutors at 2 p.m., nearly 7 hours into deliberations and an hour after a jury note complained of an impasse.

Defendant Justin Howell was the only one of the five charged not included in the deal. The no contest pleas have not been formally made yet, but when they are, jurors will be left to deliberate the felony charge against Howell.


In the end those interested in justice and fair elections should have never put their faith in E. Michael McCann. This case once again demonstrates the soft-on-crime approach that's plagued his career.

[via Brian Fraley]

UPDATE: The blogswarm has begun:


  • Peter DiGaudio:
    Simply amazing. I for one am not surprised at all. Some of the jurors no doubt believed the rant that the Republicans were so evil that whatever means used to steal the election justified the means. Some were just unable to connect the dots. The anti-Bush hatred on the Left coupled with the desire for Democrats to regain power has created this atmosphere, and some of these idiots actually got on the jury.

    What happened? In all likelihood the ones that hung the jury are people who loved and admire Gwen Moore and Marvin Pratt and hate George W. Bush so much that they could never send Moore's and Pratt's criminal sons to jail — which is where they belong. People like this will never hold their people accountable for anything they do.

  • Kevin @ Lakeshore Laments: "Guess it was the local Democrats after all."


I expect more to come.

UPDATE II (There could be a lot of these since I'm posting them as fast as I can find them):


  • Rick Esenberg:
    Speaking as a guy who has practiced law for almost 25 years, I can't imagine any self-respecting lawyer doing this. If you wanted to let these guys cop to a misdemeanor and walk away, I am sure that deal could have been made without going to the time and expense of a trial. To do it because you get a note that the jury thinks its deadlocked after six hours is silly. Judge Brennan was absolutely correct in observing that six hours is not a long time to deliberate after a seven day trial and undeniably right in telling them to continue. It really is hard to avoid at least the suspicion that the DA's office saw this as an opportunity to bail on what it saw as a no-win situation. I don't see how it is a reasonable compromise by a prosecutor who wants a conviction. Why, after devoting just about all the resources that you are going to have to devote, would you, essentially, let the defendants go at the first small sign that you might not win?

  • Charlie Sykes wonders if "the lack of a guilty plea also mean[s] that the defendants and Milwaukee's own congresswoman will continue to insist that they are innocent?" Short answer: YES!

UPDATE III:


  • The Wisconsin GOP responds to this injustice:
    The Republican Party of Wisconsin is disappointed that the penalty for the tire slashing incident is a misdemeanor rather than a felony, with no jail time being recommended. We urge Judge Brennan to disregard the District Attorney's recommendation for probation and in turn call for him to invoke a sentence of jail time. This case shows that Democrats will stop at nothing to undermine efforts by Republicans to get-out-the-vote on Election Day and has shed light on the extent they are willing to go for their own political gain. We feel as though the penalty set forth by the District Attorney for the Democrats' attempt to undermine the election process certainly does not fit the crime. In that regard, we are ready now more than ever to move forward with Election Day reform measures at the federal and state level so that integrity may be restored to the system.

  • Owen @ Boots & Sabers:
    Like most people, I didn’t think that a conviction was possible with a Milwaukee jury. I figured that a hung jury would be most likely. So, perhaps, this is the best outcome to be expected.

UPDATE IV:


  • WisPolitics Courtwatch Blog reports Justin Howell, the only member of the Milwaukee 5 who didn't plead no contest, was found not guilty by the jury. [via Lakeshore Laments]

  • James Joyner was gracious enough to publicize the story and push it out to a national audience.

UPDATE V:


  • Jessica McBride puts this McCann's latest example of a lack of prosecutorial gumption in context:
    But the frustrating thing is that McCann's office has been notoriously ineffective in prosecuting election violations overall, and the vast majority of the allegations in Wisconsin have been lodged in his jurisdiction. The Gary George forged nomination papers. The smokes-for-votes scandal. The 300+ felons who voted illegally in the 2000 presidential election. Humphrey Pushcart. On and on.

    In an extremely open election system like ours (same-day registration and no photo ID requirement), it's important to have aggressive, tough prosecution of election-law violations so that there's SOME deterrent against people doing it. In that light, I almost would have preferred to see McCann's office finally up the ante and bet the house. After all, the deals were struck after only six hours of deliberations in a trial that lasted almost seven days.


UPDATE VI (Final one for this post and probably the night):


  • James Wigderson:
    Another good day for the Milwaukee District Attorney's office: nobody sent to jail. The Milwaukee County District Attorney's office, deciding they didn't want to risk a mistrial and starting all over again, instead decided to settle. Maybe they had an early tee time tomorrow.

  • Wade Lindberg @ Not quite off the deep end:
    When we respond ineffectively to terrorism, it encourages more through our apparent weakness. What do we think will happen in the next election? ..And I don't mean sugar in the fuel tank.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:29 PM | Comments (11)

Waiting for the Verdict

The jury deliberates on the fate of the Milwaukee 5. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported this morning they might be close to a verdict:

In a possible sign one or more guilty verdicts could be coming this morning, the jury in the Election Day 2004 tire-slashing case sent a note to Circuit Judge Michael Brennan asking whether, when filling out their verdict forms for each of the five defendants, anything should be written in to indicate which of three possible theories of party to a crime a person was being found guilty under.

The lastest I heard from a radio report was the jury was "hung" up on a charge of being party to a crime. Many in the courtroom were confused by the jury's use of the word "hung." From my distant vantage point it looks like they're stuck on one or two of the suspects while being finished with the others. Talk radio yapper Jeff Wagner, former prosecutor, thinks the jury will get done today so as to not have to come in on a Saturday.

For some reading to pass the time Patrick at Badger Blogger links to the Chicago Tribune's take on the tire slashing story.

"Election Day Sabotage Trial Pits Democrat Against Democrat"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #29

  • We're into Day 2 of jury deliberations for the Milwaukee 5. Now, what did Congressman Gwen Moore mean when she referred to "the civic death penalty" if her son was convicted? If Sowande Omokunde is convicted expect a classic Moore wail

  • Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner and Paul Ryan are both in the mix to make the next House Majority Leader. I'm really interested in who Rep. Mark Green will support.

  • Google doesn't want to turn over aggregate search data on how easy is to find on the internet.

  • The Massachusetts Department of Social Services has legal permission to unhook from life-support machines. However, they won't do that because she might be improving. A spokesman said, "''The vegetative state may not be a total vegetative state." A vegetative state doesn't equal brain death. Jason Strickland, the thug accused of beating Haleigh, is one lucky monster. He's avoiding a murder charge as long as Haleigh is alive. This story now has legs. Right-to-die and pro-life advocates will start getting involved.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:21 AM | Comments (1)

January 19, 2006

Double Dipper

State Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer will run for re-election and Manitowoc County Executive. He's also vowed to answer his own phones and never ask a staff person to pick up his dry cleaning. His next trick will be to break the laws of physics by being in two places at the same time.

Seriously, it will be impressive if he can pull this off. From what I know about him he's politically strong, but this does provide an opening for his opponent(s).

"Drat, I Was Supposed to Leak This"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:33 PM | Comments (0)

Getting Goosed

Don't tick off Mother Nature:

A goose was to blame for a power outage Wednesday in the Menomonee Valley.

The goose flew into a We Energies power line.

It knocked out power to about 500 customers and zapped street and traffic lights late Wednesday afternoon.

The goose hit the gear at Fifth Street and Muskego.

Power was restored within a few hours.


Either it was a stupid bird that thankfully purged itself from the gene pool, or it had a death wish. In that case it must have been pretty happy with this week's Supreme Court ruling on Oregon's assisted suicide law.

" Knocks Out Power To Menomonee Valley"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #28

  • The Common Council approved blanketing Milwaukee with wifi. Finally, a deal for the city that will help the economy and not cost taxpayers a dime.

  • From a weblogger conference call Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) showed his hand:
    Senator Reid shared with us that just that day an unnamed Democratic Senator had come to him with a proposal on "ethics reform" ala Abramoff that could be bi-partisan. Reid told this person that this was the wrong time to be engaged in construtive "reform" proposals with the other side. He said that this was the time to draw a line and to show how "our side" differed dramatically from "their side."

    Positioning in an election year is expected. I have no qualms with that. I just question resting on winning on Abramoff. I already have Abramoff fatigue, and I'm a political junkie.

  • In Rep. Scott Jensen's trial the prosecution might call Assembly Speaker as a witness. I'm sure that will great for his Congressional campaign.

  • was charged with heroin possession. A washed-up teen star still can't get his act together. Ironically, more people know him as a has-been than as a star. He can thank VH-1 for that.

  • Sex comes to online gaming. " will allow users to perform sexual activities and even film them, as well as customise their appearance and decorate their house."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:29 AM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #27

  • Take it for what it's worth but Insight hears rumors out of the White House that (D-NY) is a shoo-in for the Presidency in 2008.

  • is buying a radio ad company. They've changed internet search and now are changing advertising in general. It will become more automated, more targeted, and more democratic. Imagine any business anywhere going to Google's website and choosing exactly what demographics they want targeted and how much they want to spend.

  • Rep. Scott Jensen has a who's who of Wisconsin politicos on the witness list for his trial. Tommy Thompson, State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, and former State Assembly Speaker Tom Loftus are just a few.

  • Larry Kudlow backs (R-AZ) for new House Majority Leader. He thinks Shadegg would be able to curtail spending increases that would allow tax cut extentions to pass.

  • Mike Sherman will interview for the Buffalo head coach opening.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:24 AM | Comments (3)

January 17, 2006

Doyle on His Big Night

Jennifer McBride is live-blogging Gov. Doyle's State of the State speech. I normally don't bother with these but she had a hilarious line right away:

WONDER HOW MANY OF THESE SOLDIERS ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR HIM?

HEY MY 8 MONTH OLD BABY JUST MUTED THE TV. I KNOW I CAN'T STAND TO LISTEN TO IT EITHER.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:40 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #26

Sorry, Charlie. I got so psyched on 24 Sunday night I passed on helping you out. Two more hours of television's second-best show (still trailing Battlestar Galactica) pushed me until the wee hours of this morning to find some great material for your show.

  • Two Congressmen briefed webloggers on progress in Iraq. They found Iraqis taking more responsiblity in their country's security. U.S. troops don't bother watching U.S. media. Flip at Suitably Flip wrote, "Rep. Chris Chocola (R-IN) noted that their perspective was shy of a sense of disgust, but definitely a 'sense of dismissal'." Both Rep. Chocola and Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-SC) noticed civilian Iraqis helping coalition forces with tips on the enemy's location. With greater Iraqi security participation that's probably led to them feeling more comfortable helping the coalition.

  • AlGore went off on President Bush...again! Is it really news since he never has a kind word to say about his 2000 opponent? Still, AlGore went over-the-top in comparing NSA spying on terrorists and wiretapping of Martin Luther King, Jr., unless Gore thinks MLK was a terrorist. He continued on his paranoid thread by claiming we are at "the brink of a dangerous breach in the fabric of the Constitution."

  • The ACLU is suing the NSA. Bluto from The Jawa Report writes, "The arrogance of the ACLU/MSM lawsuit is breathtaking; that Americans should be put at risk because a few paranoid elitists believe without any evidence that some of their calls may have been monitored."

  • Milwaukee County's pension problem is a national concern. Completely isolated from market forces government workers' pensions have become more generous (at taxpayers' expense) while companies are moving away from them.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:30 AM | Comments (3)

January 14, 2006

Feingold Courting the Pinkos

Last Sunday, Wisconsin's very own Sen. Russ Feingold went to Vermont to endorse Rep. Bernie Sanders' bid for the U.S. Senate. You wouldn't know this if you rely on the Journal Sentinel as your only news source. (Craig Gilbert, you dropped the ball on this one.) The "independent" Sanders is an vowed socialist. Such a maverick that Russ. He backs a guy who wants to socialize American health care (we'll get stuck with long waiting lists like Canada), pass job-reducing regulations like boosting the minimum wage, and close American markets to international trade. With the way Feingold was praising Sanders you'd think they were identical except for height, age, and accent. Feingold=Sanders=socialists.

Feingold didn't stop at endorsing Sanders. He praised Howard Dean as DNC chairman. He actually said there was a possiblity of impeaching President Bush over NSA spying. "I will not take anything off the table," he told the Vermont audience. By standing side-by-side with Sanders Feingold courts the MoveOn.org radicals that make Bill Clinton's fans look like free-market hawks. Only if the far Left has taken over the Democratic Party Feingold stand a chance at the Presidency.

"Feingold Makes Pitch for Sanders During Vermont Visit"

[Added to Wizbang's Carnival of the Trackbacks]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:52 PM | Comments (7)

January 13, 2006

Only One Year Ago

Kevin at Lakeshore Laments reminds me that on this day last year Charlie Sykes took local webloggers seriously enough to invite them onto his radio show. Kevin also reminds us the Big Guy in the Sky gave us a big break with the Milwaukee election fraud story. That perfect positive storm launched Wisconsin's conservative blogosphere. 2006 is an election year. That will elevate readers' craving for lightning-fast political news and commentary. My fellow BBA members and myself have a great opportunity to deliver that. I noted last year, "This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship." So far so good.

"Happy Anniversary" [via Badger Blogger]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:48 PM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #25

Should I celebrate not getting bored after 24 previous helping hands to Charlie Sykes? Sure. Let's dance.

  • Sen. Joe Biden is right. Ditch the Supreme Court nomination show trials. Senators' "questions" sucked up much more time than Judge Alito's answers.

  • Midwest Fiber and the City of Milwaukee agreed on blanketing the city in wifi. It still has to go through the Common Council and get Mayor Barrett's signature. This progress might let Milwaukee beat tech-savvy San Francisco as "the nation’s first major city to go wireless."

  • In the Milwaukee 5 trial we have the sudden appearance of mud in witness' testimony. Jenna at Right off the Shore connects Abu Ghraib to the Milwaukee 5. Something that's bugging me is the Journal Sentinel referring to all these political workers as "consultants."

  • Washington Redskins owner is buying radio stations to control the delivery of news about his team. We're seeing the future. There will come a time when the Packers buy a radio or television station. WTMJ?

  • Some in the Catholic Church want to clear Judas' name.

  • Modern science gives us green pigs.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:21 AM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #24

  • I have no problem with hardball politics, but going so far as to make Judge Alito's wife sob in the hearing room crosses the line. I'm relying on reports of the yesterday's hearing, so bear with me if I know few details. The Democrats went nuts over Alito's past membership in Concerned Alumni of Princeton instead of looking at his decisions as a judge. When they did talk about legal issues they wanted to pin him down on abortion. History has shown no nominee answers that question. The look on Sen. (D-CA) shows her frustration with her party's overreach.

  • points out the problem with nomination hearings being turned into show trials is we've handed courts too much power.

  • The Ohio Supreme Court heard the first important case since the awful Kelo decision last year. [via Michelle Malkin]

  • speaks about his Christmas trip to Baghdad.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:29 AM | Comments (7)

January 11, 2006

Magazines: Too White

Eugene Kane wonders about too-white magazines:

It makes you wonder how places like GQ, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Conde Naste Traveler and Fitness Magazine can truly report on the multi-cultural population of America without minority writers or staff assistants.

Maybe those writers can actually transcend race unlike a certain black newspaper columnist/newbie weblogger. I didn't know one was required to be black to write about blacks. This must be similiar to the Journal Sentinel's editorial board handing out an asterisk to Justice Clarence Thomas for not being black enough.

"Why Are So Many Mainstream Magazines Lily-White?" [via Ask Me Later]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:12 PM | Comments (4)

Out-of-State Thugs Slashed Tires

Two defense lawyers for the Milwaukee 5 claim out-of-state Democratic operatives slashed the tires of GOP vans on Election Day 2004. With that they tar the Democratic Party. Craig Mastantuono called them "the out-of-towners, the industry people." Sowande Omokunde's attorney Robin Shellow said the non-local thugs "aren't just card-carrying staffers," Shellow said of the outside consultants. " . . . They believe the fight is for legitimate democracy, and they're passionate." Michael Pratt's lawyer Rodney Cubbie practically accused Opel Simmons by saying, "Until Opel Simmons and his team hit Wisconsin, nothing like this had ever happened." Simmons is an important prosecution witness who will say they heard the defendants brag about the tire slashing.

This is quite the indictment of the Democratic Party. Either local thugs engaged in property-destroying voter suppression or out-of-state thugs did. Either way it means a few Democrats decided the 2000 election was so completely abhorrent and illegitimate that they decided tire slashing was an acceptable action. That's the slippery slope down an "ends justifies the means" philosophy. What's bad is the national Democratic Party never denounced the attack. The closest I found was a mention by spokesman Seth Boffeli blasting "supporters on both sides." Hmm. As if leaving a hateful voicemail or stealing some lawn signs is equal to trying to stop get out the vote efforts.

About Congressman Moore, Owen writes, "Her silence seems like tacit approval of the Republican voter suppression that took place in her district." Patrick at Badger Blogger recorded the paranoia of one of the Milwaukee 5's mothers. He also has a poll running of what you think the outcome will be.

"Outside Operatives Blamed in Tire Case"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:00 AM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #23

  • A Washington Post-ABC News poll finds two-thirds of the public thinks "it is more important to investigate possible terrorist threats than to protect civil liberties." Republicans support the President while Democrats don't. No surprise.

  • CBS News' Public Eye weblog argues good news is hard to get out of Iraq because it's a dangerous place. The abduction of Christian Science Monitor stringer Jill Carroll demonstrates that.

  • No bombshells in the hearings. Democrats questioned the nominee about the extent of executive power and abortion. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) tossed Alito the softball of the day by asking, "Let me just ask you directly, on the record, are you against women and minorities attending colleges?" It isn't stopping the Left from trying to get some anti-Alito momentum going. In a press release Wisconsin Right to Life [PDF] points out even with a pro-life Alito (not a guarantee) on the bench only four justices would be known to oppose Roe v. Wade.

  • The National Liquor Bar sign is certainly more art than advertising.

  • What will become now that there's not limit to what he can say on satellite radio? Will he remain funny--if that's how you like your humor?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:24 AM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #22

TAM survived Charlie's blogroll remodeling. I hope my assistance with show prep is part of the reason. Here's some stories for today's show:

  • Picking on Eugene Kane continues. Where did he get the idea people were equating the Milwaukee tire slashers with the Jim Crow South? [Which member of the BBA is Bull Conner?] Can you say, "strawman?"

  • The went over 11,000. Don't expect President Bush to get any credit from Democrats or the MSM.

  • Doctors say doesn't work. It may not but some of them can give you a good buzz.

  • Finally, should we care that fooled millions of readers and Oprah by faking his memoirs?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:25 AM | Comments (0)

Begging Works

All praise Subject to Change. The clown prince of the Badger Blogosphere wiggled his way onto Charlie Sykes' (no, I will not call him the "Blogfather") blogroll.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2006

The Journal Sentinel's Coward

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Eugene Kane is a coward. I said that on Charlie Sykes' show today, and I write it here on this weblog. Kane is a coward for bashing a "newly popular right-wing blogger" without having the guts to mention Jessica McBride's name or her weblog (but self-promoted his own weblog). He saved that mention for his weblog. In his article Kane then accused McBride of "changing her spots" by embracing conservative alternative media when she supposedly used to bash it. He goes farther in his weblog post writing, "today's Jessica McBride is decidely different in political attitudes than the woman I used to talk to regularly in the Journal Sentinel newsroom." No evidence, unlike the e-mail demonstrating Kane's callousness. McBride denies Kane's charge and asks for a retraction from the paper.

Kane has demonstrated he's a cynical man. Being quick-thinking he took advantage of all the talk about him in the Badger blogosphere and used his column to promote his weblog. He gave us the bait, and we took it. Racebaiting and thin-skinned Kane is, but he isn't stupid.

" Gives Everyone a Voice"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #21

Here are some stories to help out Charlie Sykes just in case he's a little slow Monday morning:

  • The Election Day tire slashers will finally get their trial. I predict Sowande Omokunde's mom Rep. Gwen Moore will cry on the witness stand. She hasn't yet on the floor of the House of Representatives. Her tear ducts are bursting at the seams.

  • The U.S. is accused of force-feeding Gitmo prisoners on hunger strikes. The U.S. can't win with anti-Americans: they'll be blamed for keeping the hunger strikers alive, but they'll also be blamed for creating the conditions that "forced" the detained Islamist killers to strike in the first place.

  • A veteran/weblogger questions a member of Congress about .

  • called President Bush "the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world" while visiting Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez. Danny Glover joined Belafonte in this bit of radical chic. Last July, the NAACP rewarded Belefonte for his hate speech.

  • Should the Packers draft Vince Young? How about Wisconsin's , a poor man's Reggie Bush?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:47 PM | Comments (6)

January 07, 2006

Raising Kane

There's buzz about Eugene Kane, the Journal Sentinel's resident race-baiter. Most of it is from his callous exchange involving Jessica McBride. Ask Me Later has instituted the "Kane Watch." How's this for a blast from the past. Back in 2004, Kane sent an e-mail to a reader that partially read:

I live for the day when a bunch of white kids get killed in an accident and the first question from readers is "where were the parents?"

It's almost as bad as calling Mexicans "wetbacks." I put Kane's glaring racism in context.

[via Charlie Sykes]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:44 PM | Comments (8)

January 06, 2006

Carnival of the Badger

Nick Schweitzer offers up a cold medicine-influenced Carnival of the Badger.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:41 PM | Comments (0)

Spiceblog Looks Down on Webloggers

Realdebate at the BBA noticed the fine print at Spiceblog. This is at the top of Spivak & Bice's weblog (emphasis mine):

Journal Sentinel columnists Cary Spivak and Dan Bice trudge through the scores of local political blogs so you don’t have to. Here’s a peek at the good, the not-so-good, the truly offensive or the just sort of interesting.

Readdebate comments:
One final point,we kind of like people to come around and read our blogs! So can you drop the "so you don't have to" line? ;)

Spivak & Bice: we like that you're reading us and (sort of) take us seriously. But you won't win friends in the blogosphere by insulting and talking down to us. We're not your "new media" children. Treat us with respect and do a good job, and we'll do the same. The first thing you could do is put up a blogroll. We like links and traffic. But wait, that would allow Spiceblog readers to "trudge through the scores of local political blogs" thereby eliminating the need to read Spiceblog.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #20

Here's my helping hand to Charlie Sykes' show:

  • Olympic events in Milwaukee? Why not? Soccer games in Miller Park. Basketball games in the Bradley Center. Hotels filled all the way to Green Bay and Madison. It's good that Mayor Tom Barrett is jumping at Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's idea of a regional summer games for 2016.

  • 's health means a lot of questions about what will happen in the near future in the Middle East.

  • Democratic Senators are decided if they should delay the Judge hearings by a week. If they do it will be only the second time in history that was done. is still expected to be confirmed. However, the Democrats wonder how irritating/obnoxious they should be.

  • After a victorious Rose Bowl, Texas' is getting a lot of attention from NFL scouts. He's big, and he can run--just ask USC and Michigan. I'm not so sure about his arm, but Favre doesn't always make conventional throws. No one runs the option in the NFL because quarterbacks would get killed by Week 8. What most impressed me about Young was how calm he was in the winning drive. Even after reaching the end zone he stood there like he did it before. Great poise. I wouldn't mind him in a green and gold jersey. All this talk about Young requires the junior to skip his senior season. That would be the smart thing to do, but I think Young really, really wants the Heisman Trophy.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:11 AM | Comments (4)

January 05, 2006

Charlie's Show Prep #19

Ok, I know for sure Charlie will be on-air today. What I'm not sure about is if he'll take advantage of the fine show prep I'm doing for him.

  • The big business lobbying group Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce issued a report about Department of Revenue abuses. It's bad enough living in a high-tax state. We don't need overzealous tax collectors.

  • A former NSA officer wants to testify before Congress about illegal spying done by the NSA and DIA.

  • Howard the Duck had gone quackers (again) by linking Judge with the spying story.

  • On the botched West Virginia mine story Amy Ridenour noticed the bigger, more elite media outlet you were the less likely you were to admit you made a mistake. An anonymous Journal Sentinel editor writes, "We're sorry the article in your newspaper was wrong." Ricardo Pimentel and the gang only want an investigation of "the communications fiasco that falsely raised the hopes of families wanting desperately to believe in miracles." They can't come out and say it was plain, shoddy journalism.

  • Ariel Sharon's stroke means new Israeli leadership in a tenuous time. Iran rattles its chains while things heat up again with the Palestinians.

  • is running for Pennsylvania governor. After years of doing TV sports Swann is certainly telegenic. Are we getting to the point where one will need celebrity to win a major political office? Ahhnuuuld in California is showing that it doesn't turn out that well.

  • AlGore spoke before Grover Norquist's Wednesday Group, the closest thing to a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy without really being one.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:14 AM | Comments (0)

Spiceblog

It's good Spivak & Bice joined the blogosphere, but who thought up such an awful name? "Spiceblog?" Belle gives us a "horrendous photoshop job." One can't work miracles with such beauty-challenged subjects.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2006

Peggy Noonan Comes to Ripon in February

Her writing is passionate, smart, and moving. Knowing Peggy Noonan was coming to Ripon College next month forced me to quickly try to reserve a space.

"Big Names Coming to Wisconsin"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:26 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #18

If Charlie wanted to he could go all Packers for 3 1/2 hours. He won't run out of callers wanting to either gloat about how it's great Mike Sherman got the axe or how Ted Thompson made the mistake that drove Brett Favre into retirement. And people will want to suggest who the next head coach should be. (My choice is defensive coach Jim Bates.) Just in case he wants some non-Packers material I'll give Charlie a hand:

  • Give the plenty of love for their big bowl upset over Auburn. What a great way to end Barry Alvarez's career as head coach.

  • Mayor Tom Barrett is doing something productive by having voter registration lists purged of outdated names and addresses. This would have happened sooner but the state can't get its act together.

  • Lofts for college students? A developer is building expensive apartments with a fitness center, a coffee bar, and high speed internet. Those with means can continue to spoil their children all through college. This has "coastie" written all over it.

  • Saddam Hussein would rather be shot than hung. Too bad no one popped him in his spider hole.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:16 AM | Comments (3)

December 31, 2005

Mob Beating was Crack Deal Gone Bad

So we were lied to the past few days. Monday night's brutal beating of shocked Milwaukee. Many wondered what was happening to parts of the city. Was she being taken over by barbarians? We now know McClain, father of 12, tried to get crack cocaine then claimed he was being ripped off. Then the beating took place. The victim is hardly innocent. Still, no one deserves the punishment McClain took. Those thugs who kicked and stomped on his head should be locked away for a very long time.

This shows the harm drugs can do to a community. Or does it? Maybe drugs being illegal is the problem If cocaine were legalized gangs wouldn't be selling it on the street. You'd go to your local convenience store or bar to get your fix. Legal cocaine might have prevented the invention of crack. We know for sure its illicit status keeps it in the realm of nasty, brutal people.

I'm not totally on the "legalize drugs" bandwagon, but I'm getting closer. It's like the decades-long approach to Fidel Castro's Cuba: the status quo isn't working. It's time to try something new. The first place we can start is by legalizing marijuana and give it the same status as alcohol. If someone wants to used it to relieve pain, fine. If they just want to get high, that's fine too. The McClain beating demonstrates the need to get drugs off the black market.

"Quarrel Over Drug Deal Led to " [via Badger Blogger]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:35 PM | Comments (1)

December 17, 2005

State Senator Harassed by Hispanic Group

The Hispanic advocacy group Voces de la Frontera went beyond their free speech rights and harassed State Senator Cathy Stepp outside her home last night. Stepp described the obnoxious tactics:

On the evening of Friday, December 16th, a group of people advocating the issuing of drivers’ licenses to non-citizens appeared outside my windows yelling and attempting to intimidate me to vote against Assembly Bill 69. Law enforcement was notified and the group disbanded. This group justifies their actions by claiming they have not had their phone call returned when in reality all constituent calls are returned until callers become belligerent or profane.

"Advocacy Group Harasses Senator Stepp at HOME"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:53 PM | Comments (3)

December 16, 2005

Suburpia

People are waiting 90 minutes for sub sandwiches at the newly opened Suburpia in Wauwatosa. Those must be damn good subs.

For my sub cravings I like Jimmy Johns. Their bread has a better crust and the meats have more flavor than Subway's (which aren't bad). Cousins used to have a great warm chicken breast sub. I haven't eaten there in a long time. So I don't know if they still have it. Where do you go for really good subs and sandwiches?

"Customers Come Back for a They Remember"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:38 PM | Comments (11)

December 15, 2005

Charlie's Show Prep #17

Here are some stories Charlie Sykes should talk about on today's show:

  • President Bush admits he was wrong about . So were Germany, Russia, China, France, the U.N., and a former administration. The "I was wrong" strategy surely won't quell his critics who are beyond hope.

  • President Bush gave the State Department the lead on rebuilding failed states. This doesn't solve the bureaucratic infighting since State will have to ask the Pentagon for the muscle (military police, counter-insurgency soldiers) in that mission. Plus, the Pentagon has now put "stability operations" on par with war waging. One, the other, or some new department has to be the sole destroyer and rebuilder of failed states. [I think I've completely drunk 's kool-aid.]

  • The state investment board wants to pour $50 million into two firms for local companies.

  • Quanta, a Taiwanese manufactuer, won the contract to make the . They're doing it for charity but also to be in position for a commercial version.

UPDATE: It would have been nice of Charlie to let me know he was done for the year. I'm done too. No show prep for Jeff Wagner. Not until he stops doing his impression everytime he gives out telephone numbers. ;-)

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:16 AM | Comments (1)

CotB Christmas Edition

RealDebateWisconsin put some effort into hosting the Carnival of the Badger. He wrote poetry, and it rhymes!

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:09 AM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2005

Charlie's Show Prep #16

Here's what Charlie Sykes should talk about on his show today:

  • When it comes to the network news negative stories about Iraq are the name of the game.

  • The Army met its recruiting goal for the first two months of their fiscal year. This despite the negative media coverage of Iraq. (See above.)

  • The fire is out at . Now, comes the job of figuring out what happened. A driver thinks he cause the explosion. The blame game as also begun.

  • Iran's president again called the a myth.

  • Sheboygan better get moving with its spaceport plans. New Mexico has agreed to build billionaire a $225 million facility.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:10 AM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2005

Charlie's Show Prep #15

My continuous saga of helping Charlie Sykes prepare for his show continues:

  • Wisconsin ranks #9 is . Yet that pile of capital isn't being poured into new, growing businesses.

  • A U.N. investigation is accusing Syria of interfering with an investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister . It says something when France and the U.S. agree that Syria is not cooperating. Of course, why would they? They did it.

  • Race riots in continued for a second night. As The Belmont Club's Wretchard put it, "Lebanese gangs have struck back."

  • There was a mistrial in a case in Houston. One juror sided against Merck. One reason being "plaintiffs attorneys 'have a hard time getting a fair trial' in Houston." Merck will have trouble being accused of withholding test data.

  • With the Packers' win they dropped to #5 in next year's draft with three games to go. Anyone who thinks the team will be better off with Sam Gado over hasn't watched any USC football this season.

  • New York City is either in another world or some financial bubble is about to burst. $100,000 are not uncommon. Think ice sculptures, professionaly edited video entrances, even music superstars that perform.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:38 AM | Comments (5)

December 12, 2005

Charlie's Show Prep #14

After he does his part of WTMJ's "extreme" Packers coverage (what was it before?) here is what Charlie Sykes should talk about on today's show:

  • No surprise that the Journal Sentinel editoral board doesn't trust law-abiding citizens to have a license. They think it's a shame that they would be "presumed to be worthy of carrying a concealed weapon, until they prove they are unworthy."

  • Mention has to made of the race riots in Syndey. A full understanding of them includes knowing about "yobbo beach tribes, and the Lebanese gangsta tribes."

  • The Buncefield fire in still burns.

  • The person who wrote in Wikipedia that , Sr. had something to do with Robert Kennedy's murder confessed to the former publisher. He says it was a joke."

  • People in Cobb County, GA are arguing over a sticker on science books.

  • Shop on mornings to avoid the crowds. I can vouch for that. Monday and Tuesday mornings are when I could get a lot of non-customer service work done at the store.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:25 AM | Comments (2)

December 10, 2005

Carnival of the Badger #17

Subject to Change hosted this week's Carnival of the Badger. Since I forgot to submit something Aaron punished me by raising this dreadful post from the dead.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

December 09, 2005

Cut Off from the Rest of the World

Madison police claim they found two sisters who haven't left their house in 20 years:

Madison police found the sisters when they called an ambulance for their 90-year-old mother.

Officers said they found the 53- and 54-year-old women suffering from developmental disabilities in un-livable conditions.

Trash, rotted food, dirt and feces littered the floor.

They had no working waterheater or a working refrigerator.

Police learned the sisters used Social Security money to pay bills and have groceries delivered.


That's one cruel mother.

"Madison Police Find 2 Women Inside Home For 20 Years"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:30 PM | Comments (0)

Spivak & Bice Read TAM

Or at least I can tell myself they do. In their latest column they refer to Charlie Sykes and Mark Belling as "radio yappers." If you've read TAM long enough you know they're all "yappers" to me.

"UWM Goof-Up Turns Gift into Gaffe" [via Charlie Sykes]

P.S. Cary, Dan, if you do read TAM leave a comment. Don't be shy.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:02 PM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #13

It's time again to help Charlie Sykes with this morning's show:

  • The GOP will start waving the at Democrats. This is good, hard-hitting politics that hits the Democrats where it hurts. What makes it really good is the chance of public backlash is minimal. No one can claim the GOP is using pictures of soldiers or Sep. 11 victims as political fodder. This attack shows President Bush and the GOP are confident and in a fighting mood. Political junkies, sit back with some popcorn and enjoy the show. Austin Bay says it's "long-overdue."

  • is rumored to be leaving the Pentagon next year with Sen. Joe Lieberman replacing him. Joe's great on the Iraq War, but I don't know how he is on transformation or even Thomas Barnett's "SysAdmin" idea.

  • There's a deal on reauthorizing the . Sen. Russ Feingold will try to block it.

  • The Journal Sentinel editorial board want the weblogging Marquette dental student's suspension lifted. Every once in a while they make some sense.

  • Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) need to go to Iraq or back to his district. Wasting time on a hearing about the shows his priorities are screwed up.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:26 AM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2005

Charlie's Show Prep #12

Here are some stories Charlie Sykes should yap about on his show today:


  • Eugene Volokh takes on the "loyalty" arguement for severely punishing the Marquette weblogging student.

  • Three tax cuts passed the House of Representatives. If only spending cuts would move as easily.

  • Virginia Governor , a sensible Democrat on Iraq, raised $2.5 million in one night. That even impressed Daily Kos.

  • The now stands along side the red cross and red crescent as symbols for emergency services. Arab states caused trouble because it will now allow Israel's version of the Red Cross to join the international body.

  • Doug Melvin was busy. gets traded and Dan Kolb returns. We'll see if Prince Fielder is as good as we all hope he is. What bums me is I heard a semi-good rumor that Jarrod Washburn would sign with Milwaukee, but A.J. Burnett’s big contract probably nixed that.

  • The Narnia hype begins today in the Journal Sentinel.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:28 AM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2005

Charlie's Show Prep #11

Here are some stories for Charlie Sykes' show today:

  • Fellow Democrats jumped on , M.D. One Congressman said, "Dean's take on Iraq makes even less sense than the scream in Iowa."

  • Law & Order, Jay Leno, even Dragnet can now be purchased by the episode and played on your computer or iPod. We're seeing the end of free TV. The future will bring pay-per-view, highly portable, and time-mobile television.

  • The will become a publicly traded company.

  • gets kids to want junk food. Shocking, I know. That doesn't mean government should ban such advertising. There are still people called, "parents." Then there's that document called the constitution.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:26 AM | Comments (7)

December 06, 2005

Students, Be Careful About Your Weblogs

Students at Marquette University better be very careful about what they write about campus life, fellow students, and professors. Post the wrong stuff on your weblog and you could be suspended like one dentistry student:

One day, the 22-year-old reported being “full and buzzin’ a little bit from the booze” — one of several blog entries involving his experiences with alcohol.

A few months later, he labeled an anonymous professor a “cockmaster of a teacher” because he didn’t like his teaching style. “I don’t even gratify him by calling him a professor,” said the student. “He is one who teaches, as in should teach infants and children.”

And in one entry, the dentistry student wrote about his classmates, “I don’t know how I am gonna manage [being with] the same 80 people for the next 3 years, especially when 20 of them have the intellect/maturity of a 3 year old, or are just a plain pain in the ass.”

...

On Friday, the [Student-Faculty Review] committee found the student guilty of professional misconduct in violation of the dental school’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Section IV, Subsection E of the code in the school’s handbook states: “Each member of the MUSoD community is obligated to conduct interactions with each other, with patients and with others in a manner that promotes understanding and trust. Actions, which in any way discriminate against or favor any group or are harassing in nature, are condemned. Respect for the diverse members of the MUSoD student body, administrators, faculty, staff and patient base is expected.”

The committee’s decision states, in part: “You are suspended from the School of Dentistry, effective immediately. You will remain suspended from the School of Dentistry until the 2006 Fall Semester. At that time, [you] will be allowed to resume your matriculation and will be required to repeat the second year of the predoctoral program in its entirety.”

It also requires that the student remain on probation until graduation, get counseling for “behavioral issues,” and make a public apology to his class by the end of the fall semester. “That apology must explicitly state your contrition for the crude, demeaning and unprofessional remarks posted by you on your blog site and an admission that you violated the School of Dentistry’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct,” according to the committee’s decision. In addition, the punishment indicates that the student must repay the university a scholarship he received of $5,000.

MU professor first wrote about the story on Sunday. Just about all his posts on Marquette Warrior since then have been about the university's ridiculous decision.

"Dental Pain at "

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:19 PM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #10

Here's what Charlie Sykes should talk about on today's show:

  • We've found a life case as ugly as Teri Schiavo's. A Massachusetts woman wants to end the life of her brain damaged daughter that she no longer has legal custody over. The stepfather is accused of beating her, and if the girl dies he'll be charged with murder.

  • Google's stock has been shining bright. Are investors being fooling into seeing the sunshine of another internet bubble? Comparing the search company to Microsoft at the same age reveals some interesting details.

  • Less than half of users are happy with their service. And here's a piece of advice from Consumers Union: don't nix the land line.

  • Javon Walker dumped the moron sports agent . Good for Javon. Rosenhaus is still busy wiping the egg off his face for his blunders with representing Terrell Owens.

  • There's something wrong about hiring someone to decorate your house for Christmas. Little did I know there's a franchise covering 48 states and Canada. People are spending up to $10,000 for the service.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:39 AM | Comments (4)

December 05, 2005

End the Indexing

Towns in Wisconsin pride themselves on their democratic town meetings. It's there where average citizens gather together to speak out on issues and vote on town priorities. But when it comes to the gas tax the Wisconsin Town Association, the representative of town governments, doesn't believe in taxation with representation. They oppose ending the annual automatic in the state gas tax. Their big gripe is

the distribution of a declining pot of state dollars in the transportation fund will result in who can muster the political power in the legislature to have their transportation project or program funded.

Are these people naive? Government whether in Washington, Madison, or the local town meeting, has always been about people mustering political power.

Here's their real complaint:

[T]he strong potential exists that future budgets will fund
these southeast Wisconsin projects to the exclusion of out-state projects and
local road programs.

The WTA is turning this into a Milwaukee v. the rest of the state battle. For those of us fighting the automatic gas tax increase it's never been about what region of the state gets road building pork. Our complaint has been about a tax increase that evades all political responsiblity. Every year when the gas tax goes up all the politicians can say, "Don't blame me. I didn't vote for it." We're tired of Wisconsin taxes always going up. We're tired of politicans shrugging their shoulders.

In this fight we're not even calling for a tax cut. All we're asking is that politicians stand accountable if they want the gas tax increased. They must come to the public and make their case for coercing people to pay more at the pump.

Tomorrow, there's an important vote in the State Senate. Then we will know who is accountable government and opposed to taxation without representation, and those who don't mind continuing to kick taxpayers in the posteiors.

[via Wigderson Library & Pub]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:30 AM | Comments (1)

Charlie's Show Prep #9

Here's more fodder for Charlie Sykes' show:

  • The movie will be huge--HUGE. Think about the passion church-goers had for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ then add the fantasy geeks who love the Lord of the Rings.

  • 's allies are claiming victory in Venezuelan legistlative elections. But only 25% of voters went to the polls.

  • Governor suffers a political defeat so he hires a Democrat to run his office.

  • Today is the last day to get in on Wisconsin Right to Life's bus to the 01.23.05 March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:17 AM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2005

A BBA Christmas

I just returned from the undisclosed location of the first Badger Blog Alliance Christmas party. Dick Cheney and Karl Rove were both there to personally brief us on how best to conquer Canada.

bba-xmas2.jpg


Patrick and Kevin attentively listened to Cheney's and Rove's diabolical plan.

After the briefing Cheney and Rove were wisked away to continue working on their ultimate plan: to Pave France. (And you thought those rioters were just ticked off Muslims. Ha!) BBA members got into a heated argument over whether Canada was enough of a challenge. Some want another crack at The Corner.

bba-xmas1.jpg


Serious thought was needed on the subject. BBA members took turns in the ultimate "thinking" room.


gb-watercloset.jpg


The question got tabled for another time when participants were more sober and not so full.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:42 PM | Comments (5)

Wisconsinite of the Year

There's the beginnings of a discussion going on at the BBA. Who's your pick?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

The Gas Tax Beyond Milwaukee

Conservative talk radio yappers get voters riled up about the annual non-vote increase in the state gas tax in Southeast Wisconsin. This alternative media is rare to non-existent in the rest of the state. Republicans at the state capitol may think the calls they're getting are from radio-listening sheep. Still, the issue plays well with voters beyond the range of Mark Belling's or Charlie Sykes' voices. The Tomah Journal supports Scott Walker's plan to kill the automatic increase and makes a "progressive" (fancy word for liberal) case for it. When you have Lefties glomming onto this you know it's a winning issue. Speaker Gard, Senate Majority Leader Schultz stop running away from this. You're base loves it, and the public loves it.

"Editorial: Candidate is Right - Time to Repeal Automatic "

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2005

Charlie's Show Prep #8

Here's my continuing saga of helping Charlie Sykes have a great radio show:


  • The Brewers' Sunday home uniforms bring back the always-cool pinstripes, but also bring back the bloated sausage-looking ball-and-glove logo.
  • There's another basketball comedy team using the name "Harlem." The have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission accusing the Harlem Globetrotters of using "its market position to initiate a conspiracy of contracts which unreasonably restrain the business activities of the Harlem Ambassadors."
  • President Bush is suppose to report for on Monday. It will be rescheduled.
  • CrackBerry addicts in D.C. are getting emotionally (as well as technicially) prepared for a possible service shutdown.
  • A majority of Americans think is bad, but a whole lot of people still shop there.
  • BellSouth wants to force web sites to pay for faster downloads. Dumb!


Damn, I'm generous.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:26 AM | Comments (3)

December 01, 2005

New Carnival of the Badger

Leaning Blue has put together a great, rockin' Carnival of the Badger. The only thing missing was some Billy Squier.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:29 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie's Show Prep #7

Here are some stories Charlie Sykes should talk about on today's show (no need to mention Speaker John Gard):


  • State Assembly Republicans need to explain themselves for killing a bill that would have allowed Milwaukee to stop paying police officer's salaries after they were fired but waiting for an appeal hearing. It would have saved money for the cash-strapped city.
  • House Minority Leader calls for the quick withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. A few weeks ago, she had chance to vote that way but didn't.
  • Some Boston thugs stole a Christmas kettle. Pathetic. That's a group that has gone all-out in hurricane relief. They could use all the help you could give them.
  • U.S. troops have planted stories in . Some are appalled. It's a war over there! One side indiscriminately bombs civillians while the other publishes positive stories. Who are the real bad guys?
  • Europe could undergo a . Yet scientists blame global warming. I'm sure they don't get their unintentional irony.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:46 AM | Comments (12)

Charlie Should Be Jealous

has a Wikipedia entry, but Charlie Sykes doesn't.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:50 AM | Comments (2)

November 30, 2005

Charlie's Show Prep #6

Here are some stories Charlie Sykes should talk about on his show today:


  • ticket prices will go up. Any effect on attendence will depend on what acts come. $15 is still a great value.
  • might be the wave of the future for business.
  • The , IL airport threw "Chicago" into its new name to draw passengers from the crowded O'Hare.
  • Liberal groups are having trouble getting solid support in stopping nomination.
  • Did Senate Minority Leader let out secret information about Osama bin Laden's demise? [via Betsy's Blog]
  • The Iranian president goes all Pat Robertson and thinks a light surrounded him when he spoke before the U.N. last September.
  • Sen. defends her Iraq War vote.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:57 AM | Comments (4)

November 29, 2005

Charlie's Show Prep #5

Here are some stories Charlie Sykes should talk about on his show today:


  • The Milwaukee drive is still $5.4 million short with only a few days to go. No surprise. With charity drives for tsunami and hurricane relief, many of us are tapped out. It also wouldn't hurt if the United Way would give to the Boy Scouts again.
  • A in Sheboygan? Sen. Joe Leibham is working on it. What would they do, launch bratwurst into space? And who knew there was a Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium that was the "Wisconsin arm of NASA?"
  • Virginia Governor and probable Presidential candidate sounds like a sane, reasonable Democrat for not wanting "an arbitrary deadline or specific date" to remove troops from Iraq. He went on to say, "This Democrat doesn't think we need to re-fight how we got into (the Iraq war). I think we need to focus more on how to finish it."
  • loss his Baseball Hall of Fame eligibility. has commentary.
  • Magazine publisher Mort Zuckerman has declared webloggers the "." That sounds better than "people in their pajamas."
  • may be preventing drugs administered via the posterior from entering the body. One problem: 50 people in a study doesn't mean much.

UPDATE: The erected on Capitol Hill will be called a "Christmas" tree, not a "holiday" tree. Charlie's listeners will defintely react to this.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:11 AM | Comments (4)

November 28, 2005

Charlie's Show Prep #4

Here's what Charlie Sykes should talk about on his show today:

  • want to go statewide and build up a $1 million warchest. Good luck, but don't let your heads get to big. They seem to be swelling already. Chris Kliesmet said, "We don't feel we ever lose a recall" even when they did in the Town of Polk and Milwaukee.
  • In a case of "no duh" by the Journal Sentinel 's drunk driving arrest might play a role in the Attorney General's race. What will be an even more important issue is her mis-use of a state car.
  • A CNN operator was fired for defending the news network's "X" mistake as "free speech."
  • Let me repeat: Cindy Sheehan's 15 minutes are up.
  • Crime has gotten so bad in Baltimore thieves are stealing light poles.
  • The Monday after Thanksgiving has become a big online shopping day. It's become big enough to have a name: "." Shh! Don't tell the boss.
  • What's the point of as punishment when parents coddle them and let them have a vacation?
Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:08 AM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2005

Racine School District Leaks Data

The Racine Unified School District handed out the personal information of about 500 of its employees to financial software firms bidding on work. How this happened no one knows, not even the district. I'm guessing the companies wanted data to demonstrate their products. That's why they invented dummy data.

What's even more galling is the personal data was released back in April. RealDebateWisconsin (who beat the Journal Sentinel by days) writes,

My oh my, how on Earth could they of been so busy back in April to make a mistake this monumentally stupid???? Oh yeah, they were busy scaring the students into getting their parents to the polls to overturn the no vote on their referendum increase.

And the district will soon be asking Racine taxpayers for even more money. I say no more until they fix the mismanagement.

"School District Accidentally Leaks Personal Information of 500 Employees"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:55 PM | Comments (0)

Missed Sunday Insight

Silly me got too busy reading news and weblogs that I forgot to watch Sunday Insight. I also forgot to TiVo it. Anyone have a copy they can easily send me a link for. I'd like a copy to save for posterity.

P.S. Was TAM mentioned? Seeing the spike on my Site Meter I think it was.

UPDATE: Patrick at Badger Blogger has a complete recap. Owen Robinson gives us his on-the-scene report.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:10 AM | Comments (2)

November 24, 2005

Sunday Insight Preview

Wendy at Boots & Sabers gives us a little taste of the weblog edition of Sunday Insight.

"Owen Takes off his Pajamas..."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2005

Charlie's Show Prep #3

Here's what Charlie Sykes should talk about on this morning's show:


  • The Washington Post runs with the Mirror's "Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera" story. They report the CIA considered infiltrating it but not bombing it.
  • left the Likud party he co-founded and leads in polls for next year's election.
  • The Journal Sentinel writes about the hoopla. If you haven't gotten one already you're out of luck "unless you are willing to spend two grand on eBay." Note a girl was second in line at a Gamestop. Video games are transcending geeky guys.
  • For only $145 you can get to January's in Washington, D.C.
  • Bill Ford is freaking out. While begging for government help he went the economic nationalism route. He even disparaged foreign car companies with plants in the U.S. but ignoring the fact three new Ford cars are built in Mexico.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:13 AM | Comments (2)

November 21, 2005

Charlie's Show Prep #1

Charlie Sykes is a busy man with his radio show, tv show, and writing gigs. It's time to give him a hand. Here are some stories I think will be good fodder for this morning's show*:

  • Sen. Joe Biden, who is running for President in 2008, will do "whatever they can to keep" Judge Alito off the court. Can you say, "?" Last week, said this would happen.
  • School officials at Bay View High School are walking around the neighborhood making sure kids are in class. Some local businesses are miffed.
  • The Midwest in general and Wisconsin in particular aren't noted for growing high-tech industries. The Chicago Fed sees more talking and networking as the answer. How about fixing Wisconsin's tax and regulatory policies? GOP legislators are on the right track with their ideas.
  • The Washington Post documents one family's . Nothing like the American version. This should wipe the smug grin off an arrogant Frenchman.
  • In China . Symbolic in a nation that doesn't respect religious freedom.
  • Add Sony to the list of big names taken down by webloggers.

UPDATE: Bryan Preston compares with Reagan's "Tear down this wall!" speech.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:34 AM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2005

Arrested for Weblog Threats

A Jackson, WI man-child was arrested for making threats on his weblog:

On Thursday, Washington County Assistant District Attorney Holly Bunch charged [Anthony] Gregovich with unlawful use of computerized communications systems.

If convicted, Gregovich could be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to 90 days in jail.

In his Web log entry, Gregovich suggested that the other student should "bring a gun to school and flash your piece out in the cafeteria," according to the complaint. He concluded by advising the person to fire the weapon, giving the woman "a few rounds upside her head."


Anyone know the URL to the weblog? Google is letting me down.

"Student Accused of Posting Threatening Message on Web"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2005

Carnival of the Badger

Military Matters hosts this week's Carnival of the Badger, all the Wisconsin blogosphere posts you want if you're not sitting in a tree stand this weekend.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 15, 2005

Wauwatosa Wimp Gives into Race-Baiting

If you're a black man who gets arrested for disorderly conduct by while policemen all you have to do is organize a protest and scream racism. It doesn't matter if you have a track record of calling cops "faggots," threatening to bitch slap a gay legislator, and lets supporters hold racist, "cracker" signs.

Michael McGee acted in an anti-social manner and turned it into a Jesse Jackson shakedown. McGee is a jerk, but he's brilliant. He ending up getting hugged by Wawatosa Mayor Theresa Estness and gets a seat at the table on a race taskforce. Pretty good for sitting in a parking lot late and night then screaming at some scared Blockbuster employees, at least on who happened to be black.

Jessica McBride notes that other Milwaukee personalities couldn't get away with this:

Give me a break. I don't remember the mayor of Milwaukee hugging Mark Belling and calling a task force after his situation. If Scott Walker did this or even Tom Barrett or, God forbid, my husband, the mayor of Wauwatosa wouldn't be meeting with them and hugging them and calling task forces. They'd be ruined.

Shelby Steele has written,

Whites and blacks often play the "other" for each other in this way, each race seeking a bit of redemption and power in the other's shame. And both races live with the permanent anxiety of being held to account for their shames by the other race. So, there is a reflex in both races that reaches for narratives to explain shame away and, thus, disarm the "other."

Mayor Estness' white shame and lack of a backbone let the racist, homophobe Michael McGee become the victim...and the winner.

"Task Force Promised"

"Tosa Mayor Caves"

"Kumbaya"

"Tosa Cops Get No Support from Their Mayor"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:11 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

November 06, 2005

Milwaukee TV Stations Down

It looks like I'll be missing Desparate Housewives tonight. To any SE Wisconsin readers: as of this moment are you getting channels 4, 6, 9, or 12? I'm getting other Milwaukee stations. I wonder if the problem is with Charter cable. Could it be all these stations have transmitters at the same location and something happened to knock them all out?

UPDATE: About 8:30 things were back to normal. A half hour of DH is better than none. I still don't know if I should blame Charter.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:53 PM | Comments (2)

November 04, 2005

Carter's Coming

Wendy at Boots & Sabers is tempted to have her kids play hooky next week when President Jimmy Carter comes to West Bend, one of the most Republican* cities in the entire United States.

Ah, childhood memories. My first chance to see a President up close was when President George H. W. Bush rode a train through Wisconsin in 1992. My family and I walked the whole two blocks to the railroad tracks hoping he'd stop to say a few words. Other people in town came out with hand-made signs. The train came from the south. We hoped it would slow down. Still it came closer. Closer. It's speed didn't change a bit. The train barreled through town with the President waving from the back. At least it kind of looked like him. It was such a blur they could have put an older staffer out there and we wouldn't have known the difference.

As for a childhood memory about Jimmy Carter: my mother never lets me forget that when Ronald Reagan beat him in 1980 I cried. Yes, I was a Democrat at six-years old. Over the years I've seemed to have grown up. The Democrats haven't.

"Jimmy Carter, Wal Mart, and West Bend"

*Note I didn't say "most conservative." I won't when Washington County's board voted to subsidize a gigantic hunting and fishing shop cum tourist attraction.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:14 AM | Comments (3)

October 27, 2005

Carnival of the Badger #11

Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger...


badgerbadgerbadger.jpg

Before embarking on this week's carnival you must, must open this website into another browser. It's required background music. Soon I will be petitioning the government to make it Wisconsin's official manic song. The kids at UW-Madison would love it in between detox sessions.

Mushroom, mushroom!


mushroom.jpg

Dad29 takes on Aurora Health Care for their ads for a new Waukesha County hospital.

Marcus Aurelius, the Badger Blogosphere's resident Roman, gets serious with a look at how fast democracy should be implemented in the Middle East.

Lance Burri points out the difference between a politician calling for something and actually doing something about it. As a bonus (Lance must have found that 1up mushroom) things could be worse.

Dean opposed Harriet Miers. He got his wish.

Badger Blues gives us a reason why Democrats should stand up and fight.

Representative Frank Lasee wants a TABOR that really limits government spending.*

On the BorderLine highlights the writings of one of its regular posters.

The Electric Company's Paul Noonan gives us a public service announcement: talk radio yappers might not know what they're talking about when it comes to climate change.

RealDebateWisconsin is also in a giving mood and wants to help us with our junk mail.

SNAKE! OOOHH SNAKE!


oh-snake.jpg

State Sen. Chuck Chvala might have lots of time to learn the fine elements of the "Badger Badger Badger" song since he might get some jail time by pleading guilty to two felony charges. Steve at No Runny Eggs reports along with a shot at "Mr. Plea Bargain" E. Michael McCann.

Leaning Blue reports a Hurricane Katrina refugee died in a Red Cross shelter in Milwaukee. It may have been a drug overdose, but the MSM isn't reporting it.

Another item you won't find in the MSM is a proposed rule change at the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs. Bill Christofferson provides some reporting on a bureaurcratic power play.

Random10 listened to John Edwards and found his ideas on fighting poverty lacking.

Robbie Barton found a CNN "story" about President Bush's poll numbers that didn't say anything.

Patrick the Badger Blogger notes that 2,000 American soldiers have died in Iraq for a reason. A good reason.

Bob, the Madison Freedom Fighter [I think Mad City is a lost cause. --ed] offers Cindy Sheehan some practical advice to protect our troops in Iraq.

Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger...


badgerbadgerbadger.jpg

"To the moon, Alice!" From Sheboygan? Sounds like a Halloween prank, but tee bee points out the state is taking the idea seriously.

Aaron at Subject to Change is looking for a cause "to take on the 'evildoers.'" The weirder the better. How about helping me with the "Badger Badger Badger" song? He's also going to have the good candy for Halloween.

STB sees the bad, tacky, ugly trend of Holloween displays. They're scarier than a snake.

SNAKE! OOOHH SNAKE!


oh-snake.jpg

Next week, Patrick hosts the CoB. As for me...

Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger...

*Oops. Rep. Lasee's submission slipped through the cracks. It's now been added.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:00 PM | Comments (12)

CoB this Evening

Expect the Carnival of the Badger this evening. While I'm working today I'll try to think of some special touches for the plethora of submissions I received.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:31 AM | Comments (3)

October 26, 2005

"Jesus Was a Black Man"

Milwaukee has its share of wacky politicians. None wackier than Alderman Michael McGee. The Journal Sentinel's Spivak & Bice report on their attempt at getting McGee's side of the story on what transpired on a recent bus trip to Washington, D.C.

"Spinning Statements Can Be Hard to Follow"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:22 AM | Comments (1)

October 25, 2005

Need Posts Now!

I'm hosting this week's Carnival of the Badger. Send me your posts or I'll have a very small carnival. They're due by Wednesday at 8 pm. E-mail them to sean--at--theamericanmind--dot--com or use this carnival submission form.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2005

Carnival of the Badger: Pirate Edition

Subject to Change hosts the Carnival of the Badger #10.

WARNING!!! TAM will be hosting next week's carnival. I promise no pirates, but there will probably be something just as annoying. There's a certain song in my head that would fit perfectly.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:34 PM | Comments (2)

Praise to Feingold

The Coburn Amendment would have dropped the funding for needless Alaska bridges and pay to rebuild a Louisiana bridge damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Alaska's senior Senator Ted Stevens threatened to resign from the Senate if the amendment passed. Well, we're still stuck with Stevens and his porkbarrel ways because the amendment died 82-15. Praise has to go to Sen. Russ Feingold for voting for the measure. Russ isn't known for getting the Badger State pork. He's been too busy limited Americans' right to free speech and thinking about running for President. Still, Feingold voted the right way.

"Coburn Loses Battle of Bridges"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2005

Jib's ID Pop Quiz

Jib noticed Wisconsin has a strange set of priorities when it comes to needing identification.

"Identification in Wisconsin"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

Vrakas Wins in Waukesha

Dan Vrakas beat Jim Dwyer Waukesha County Executive race. Vrakas with over 67% of the vote proved that Waukesha County is solidly conservative and Republican.

Patrick reminds us that Vrackas will have to work with Dwyer and the county board, and GBFan is so happy he went Cyrillic.

"Vrakas to Lead Waukesha County"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:46 AM | Comments (1)

October 17, 2005

Missing Out on a Winning Issue

The Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR) is a rare issue that garners such wide-spread support across Wisconsin. In a just-released Wisconsin Policy Research Institute poll the only groups that don't have a majority supporting TABOR are liberals and blacks. A majority of people in the People's Republic of Madison back limiting increased in state and local government spending. It seems like a winning issue, right? Politicians should be pushing this issue that has little political costs, right? Well, what is State Senator Glenn Grothman's most recent accomplishment? He's the man who whupped Senate Majority Leader Mary Panzer because she wasn't doing much for TABOR. TABOR is Grothman's issue. Grothman put pressure on Gov. Jim "Needles" Doyle to allow fireworks to be launched near Summerfest.

The Wisconsin GOP has become very distant to voters, especially conservatives. Instead of advancing TABOR they've shrunk from the fight to limit government spending. The screams of local officials who don't want to control spending have more weight than the plight of taxpayers tired of paying more for government.

"Wisconsin Residents Favor Constitutional Amendment to Limit State and Local Spending" [PDF]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2005

Not Anti-Semitic

Citizens for Responsible Government released a press release beating up on the Journal Sentinel's Spivak & Bice. It's titled "Spivak-stein & Bice-stein" Funny? No. Too cleaver by half but not anti-semitic. It's insulting the reporters so being "so smart" they're attacking government watchdogs instead of rooting out government waste that could reduce taxes.

"Jim Sees Einstein As Just A Jew, Not A Brilliant Physicist"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

Kids Killed in Bus Accident

A bus full of Chippewa Falls high school students and chaperones coming back from a band competition hit a semi. Twin Cities' WCCO has coverage.

"Tragedy for Chippewa Falls"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2005

Carnival of the Badger #9

Badger Blues hosts this week's collection of Badger State posts.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:10 PM | Comments (2)

City-Wide Wi-Fi for Milwaukee

A company wants to beat Philadelphia and San Francisco and bath Milwaukee in Wi-fi:

A Milwaukee firm is leading an effort to create a citywide wireless computer network, a $20 million-plus initiative that could leapfrog the city to the front of a national push to create such systems, city officials said Wednesday.

Midwest Fiber Networks would construct the system at no cost to taxpayers - a key selling point for the cash-strapped city.

The firm and its partners could even end up paying the city money to lease space in the city-owned underground conduit system.

Officials could also seek free wireless access in all parks or housing projects as part of the arrangement.

"This is an exciting proposition for the city," said Mayor Tom Barrett, who has had informal discussions with the company. He said it could lead to Milwaukee being the "first American city to become totally wireless at no cost to the taxpayers of the city."

It won't be free like Google's offering in San Fran. Midwest Fiber Networks would sell access to other companies. If they use similar technology I use in my home I wonder how effective it will be getting a signal inside buildings. Walking around outside with a notebook or wireless PDA will be no trouble. Signals from street lights into homes should be fine, but getting them into commerical and apartment buildings may be difficult. Something like Verizon Wireless' wireless broadband--with faster speeds and much lower costs--may be a better long-term solution. I'm skeptical about how much it will help Milwaukee's economic competitiveness. Always on internet access will be the norm someday. Sooner is better than later. Google thinks it's a good idea to cover a city, and those guys are a lot smarter (and richer) than me. The plan won't cost the City of Milwaukee anything with the possiblity to bringing in more competition to the broadband ISP market, so I say "let's go!" Mayor Barrett and the City Council better not mess this up.

"Wi-Fi Plan May Give City a Digital Edge"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2005

Sen. Risser is a Boob

Charlie Sykes talked about this story today. State Sen. Fred Risser wants to make it a crime for people to express their concerns to publicly breastfeeding mothers. Some mothers like Michelle Morgan can't accept the fact that some people don't approve of what she does:

Michelle Morgan said she has run into problems trying to breast-feed her son, Ian, in public.

"A woman basically said to me that I should probably go somewhere else or make sure that I stayed covered up," said Morgan. "It made me pretty angry."


Even though public breastfeeding is legal it doesn't mean every public place is appropriate. There is such a thing as good manners. But if you go up to a mother and express your concerns (no threats or any physical) you could be slapped with a $200 fine.

In Risser's and Morgan's world it's not good enough to allow mother to breastfeed their children in public. They also require the public to sacrifice its free speech rights. Whatever happened to the Left's love of tolerance and free speech? It went out the door so people aren't offended or when some pet issue like campaign finance comes up.

"Harassing Breast-Feeding Mothers Could Lead To Fines"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:51 AM | Comments (14)

September 30, 2005

Badger Times 7

RealDebateWisconsin hosts this week's Carnival of the Badger.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:51 AM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2005

Wining and Dining

Gov. Jim "Needles" Doyle, last week, spent about $400 wining and dining reporters. He got a pass until Jessica McBribe pointed out the media double standard in coverage of him and Scott Walker. I had no problem with Doyle's picnic or Walker's ticket giveaway. I think it's preposterous for reporters to be "paid off" with zoo tickets or some wine and chicken breasts. Common sense has to come in instead of the ethical straight jacket local media is putting themselves in. It's the job of editors, publishers, and ultimately, readers to hold reporters accountable. I refuse to accept a reporter's objectivity can be so easily bought off.

"Mainstream Media Tougher on Walker than His Opponents"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2005

Carnival of the Badger #5

Letters in Bottles hosts this week's tiny Carnival of the Badger. Come one guys, the thing is supposed to get bigger.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2005

Inner Demons

Former ESPN reporter Adrian Karsten hanged himself in his Green Lake garage. He was to begin serving time for not filing tax returns.

According to court records, Karsten made more than $600,000 while reporting for ESPN between 1999 and 2002. He did not file tax returns for any of those years and owed the IRS approximately $167,000.

It's pure spectulation but gambling and/or drugs must have been involved. Karsten didn't have the money to pay the government and he didn't think he could survive prison so he gave up. Too sad.

"Ex-ESPN Reporter Karsten Found Hanged at His Home"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:05 AM | Comments (4)

August 25, 2005

Dodging the Subject

Scott Walker misses the point in having the state GOP apologize to Schenks for practically accusing their son on vote fraud. He tries to push the onus onto the Journal Sentinel when he writes to Charlie Sykes:

Charlie,

Speaking of an apology, when do you think that the paper will ask the city/mayor to give an apology for being so far off on the number of ballots that they needed last November and for attacking the county when we were actually correct?

- Scott


That's a discussion for another day. The state GOP should apologize simply because it's the right thing to do. They got it wrong; they have to make amends. Walker, like the state Democrats, tries to use this event to gain political advantage. That's cynical and unclassy.

One more thing, Walker didn't need to stick his nose in this. He didn't accuse anyone specifically of vote fraud. I wonder if the state GOP was pressuring him to say something.

"Speaking of Apologies"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2005

Badger Carnival

James Widgerson wants your Wisconsin posts for the next Carnival of the Badger.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2005

Party Bickering Over Vote Fraud

The Wisconsin Democratic Party had a chance to look classy and dignified while continuing the GOP's embarassment for going overboard on their recent vote fraud accusations. Joe Wineke could have simply asked, not "demanded," that the GOP apologize to Stuart, Gayle, and Joseph Schenk for indirectly accusing Joseph of double voting last November. Party chairman Rick Graber, Rep. Jeff Stone, and Sen. Joe Leibham held their press conference outside the Schenk's house. We learned investigators found no evidence from the GOP that double voting occured. Wineke then tries to score political points from the GOP's failed attempt to score points of their own:

Put simply, Republicans used the Schenk family as pawns to further their own political agenda. What the Republican Party did was wrong and violates any basic notion of common decency. Graber, Stone, and Leibham should immediately apologize to Joseph Schenk and his family for these outrageous allegations.

The guy doesn't know what it means to take the high road.

The GOP better issue their apology and soon. They publically embarassed a family that was minding its own business.

Then there's the Journal Sentinel editorial board. Original thought isn't wanted when the editorialist just rewords a Democratic press release. The writer did think he was cleaver for using "besmirched" twice. He also exposed the fact that the board is full of knee-jerk Democrats when he wrote,

It was wrong to have besmirched his name for the sake of political gain: namely, adoption of a measure that would tighten voter ID requirements so much that Wisconsin would boast the most rigid rules in the nation. Tighter rules tend to help the GOP by suppressing Democratic votes.

Wow! Quite the accusation. Nothing to back it up. The most recent version of voter ID Gov. Jim "Needles" Doyle vetoed exempted many of the elderly Doyle claimed he was protecting. The editorial board must think voter ID could become law. They're unleashing the scare tactics along with keeping their heads buried in the sand.

"State GOP Should Apologize"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:27 PM | Comments (2)

Talking about Talk Star

Charlie Sykes challenged Wisconsin webloggers to comment on Tim Cuprisin finally getting around to writing about how Kossites won WISN's talk show host contest. He called me out by name. Hey, Charlie, I had to get up early this morning. My vacation's over. It was either commenting on Milwaukee's Talk Star or covering some real news like how the Wisconsin GOP looked like fools.

Now on to Cuprisin's story. He immediately decides to sound "cool" by using the internet-only verb "freep." Odd since a Kossite got other Kossites to give Nicole Devin her victory. A Free Republic swarm might have canceled out the Kossites. It's interesting Cuprisin brought up Free Republic. Was it his way of deflecting the successful liberal campaign since it could be said conservatives stuff ballot boxes too? Sounds like an "everybody does it" argument.

Next, Cuprisin wrote,

Now some conservative talk radio listeners, egged on by conservative blogs and radio talkers, are suggesting that the Internet competition to pick the new morning host for WISN-AM (1130) was freeped by the lefty dailykos.com.

He mentions talk radio yappers by name. He also mentions the Kossite who organized the successful campaign by URL. Who were the conservative weblogs griping? What, the Right side of the blogosphere doesn't deserve a link? Gibbsville Unincorporated appears to be the first conservative weblog to cry foul. It took me a whole weekend to toss in my two-cents.

What I find most interesting about Cuprisin's story is the comments from Jerry Bott WISN programming director. First, he pooh-poohs the idea the Kossites gave Nicole Devin her new job calling such speculation "ignorance." Thanks, Jerry. This "ignorant" WISN fan knows you would need a lot of intestinal fortitude to admit your voting process was open to an organized on-line campaign (even though I believe it was in violation of the spirit of the contest). It's hard to admit you, as old media, got played by the new.

Bott then tells Cuprisin something astounding:

I've never asked Nicole about her political persuasion. Nor do I think it's particularly relevant because our new morning show will almost never address politics.

Huh? Maybe Bott didn't need to ask Devin about her politics because it was so pronounced. But the new morning show won't be about politics? This is WISN, Milwaukee's home for conservative yapping. It's the home to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Belling. Politics is in WISN's DNA. It's what differentiated them from the, then, uber-bland, Gordon Hinkley talk at WTMJ. Their new morning show will be still-born, they'll end up airing Bill Bennett's syndicated morning show, and Devin will be a liberal yapper somewhere else.

The biggest reason I didn't immediately rip this story was it's old news to me. Kossites winning Milwaukee's Talkstar is so last week. Cuprisin is writing about media (radio and television) at 20th Century speed. The guy needs a weblog. But that would require him to do more work than the two or three short columns a week he currently does.

Wendy also takes Charlie's bait and rips WISN:

The real outrage though, is that whoever made the decision to conduct this stupid contest has so little respect for WISN’s listeners that they would trust this important position to an amateur. I like to think that when a radio station has an opening, they would really consider who their listeners are, what the listeners would like to hear, then go out and find a professional who will satisfy listeners and help make money for the station. Sure, Nicole may be part of a team of hosts on the morning show. But still, she is going to be there every day. Do real WISN listeners want that person? Maybe they do. I don’t know. But it’s not MY job to do that research. It’s WISN’s job. And they blew it.

Hey, I didn't listen to WISN's morning show before the contest, and I'm pretty sure I won't now.

"Contest May Not be Clear of 'Freep'"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

No Evidence of Double Voting Found

The Wisconsin Republican Party was wrong when they claimed nine people voted in multiple cities last November. U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic's investigation found "found assorted clerical errors and other inconsistencies, but no fraud." While the GOP came up empty Biskupic said, "[T]here still is plenty of evidence of double voting and the like."

The state GOP has egg on their faces. They should apologize to Stuart and Gayle Schenk and their son Joseph. Earlier this month the party held a press conference in front of their house. Next time they have evidence they should let the professional investigators check it out before blabbing to the press.

"Nothing Points to Fraud in 9 Double Voting Cases"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:30 AM | Comments (3)

August 20, 2005

Return of Crypto

Cryptosporidium has hit a waterpark in New York State:

Gastrointestinal illness possibly stemming from a state-run water playground has sickened more than 700 people, mostly children and teenagers, the state Health Department said Thursday.

"The numbers are growing significantly," said department spokesman Rob Kenny.

Seneca Lake Park's Sprayground, which has water jets shooting up from a hardtop surface, was closed after tests showed the tank system that feeds the water jets was contaminated with a common waterborne disease called cryptosporidiosis.

The disease is highly contagious and can cause diarrhea, nausea and fever that can last for weeks. It usually goes away without treatment in healthy individuals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


In 1993 an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Milwaukee got 403,000 people sick and killed over 100. The event became a source of academic research. It also was the largest outbreak of its kind "ever recorded in the developed world." Two years after the outbreak AIDS patients were still infected. The funny thing--and not in a good way--was then-Mayor John Norquist didn't fire anyone. No one was held accountable.

At least The Onion found a way to make us smile while making a little money.

"Water Park Closes After Hundreds Fall Ill" [via Boots & Sabers]

"10 Years Ago, Crypto Gripped the City"

UPDATE: CNN reports, "Nearly 1,800 people from 20 New York counties have reported symptoms of a gastrointestinal illness."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:49 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2005

We're Probably as Bad as the Kossites

The Badger Blog Alliance is MKE's blog of the week with "more than half the votes." Thank you, thank you, thank you. No prizes and definitely no $50,000/year contracts. Still it feels good.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2005

Vote for the BBA

Today is your last chance to make the Badger Blog Alliance MKE's Blog of the Week. So stop reading TAM and vote, vote, vote!

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2005

Dumb Name

In a few hours Lazer 103 will die and 1029 The Hog will be born. The format will probably be a wider breadth of rock instead with less emphasis on the lame excuses for rock acts like Staind and [fill-in-the-blank] faux punk. It will probably be similar to 97.3 The Brew. The change is good even though I don't listen to music on the radio anymore, but, my god, can they possibly think up worse names? "The Hog?" "The Brew?" Next, we'll have to endure "The Brat" or "The Cheese."

"Lazer 103 to Change Music Format"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:28 AM | Comments (4)

Brutal Fruit Bonked

Brutal Fruit died before it was born:

Miller's drink, Brutal Fruit, didn't pan out with consumers when it was tested this spring and summer in three cities: Richmond, Va., Tampa, Fla., and Seattle, said Miller spokesman Peter Marino.

Instead of pursuing an alternative beverage launch, Milwaukee-based Miller plans to continue focusing on its core brands, including Miller Lite, Marino said.

Brutal Fruit bills itself as fruit juice with 5% alcohol by volume, a level similar to beer. It comes in four flavors: strawberry, mango, litchi and kiwi.

The drink was launched in 2002 in South Africa by SABMiller Plc, Miller's corporate parent. Brutal Fruit has enjoyed strong sales in South Africa, and its main consumers are women between 24 and 35.

Brutal Fruit and other flavored malt beverages are aimed at consumers in their 20s who grew up drinking juice and soda and aren't wild about the taste of beer.


This is a company that recently abandoned such "malternatives" as Skyy Blue and Jack Daniel's Original Hard Cola. I thought the product's name was bad enough. I guess test marketing showed there was more distaste than just the name.

"Miller Abandons Niche Drink"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:17 AM | Comments (1)

August 15, 2005

Devin Prediction

With Milwaukee getting its first local liberal talk radio yapper since...hmm...well.... Was Jay Marvin [and here] a liberal or just nuts? From what I remember his approach seemed to involve being a buffoon. Nicole Devin will be the newest edition to the local airwaves. I give her a year. By then the MSM glow will have worn off and WISN will notice they can get better ratings with Bill Bennett's syndicated morning radio show. Clear Channel will eat up the contract and Devin will go to another market or even national if Air America survives. That's assuming Devin has any talent. (Yes, liberals can and do have talent, or else I wouldn't have any music or comedy to be entertained with.) I didn't listen to her at all during the contest so I don't know if she's a whiny, I'm-a-victim, capitalism-is-evil Lefty or one like The New Republic's Peter Beinart (but with a personality). Taking on Wisconsin's conservative blogosphere wouldn't hurt. *wink* *wink*

"The Blogosphere Manufactures a Liberal Talk Radio Host in Milwaukee"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:06 PM | Comments (3)

A Liberal Talkstar is Born

Kossites and Lefties across the nation are preening over getting a liberal on conservative Milwaukee talk radio. Charlie Sykes was talking about it this morning. I know he was eating up the fact that his talk radio competition looks like fools for turning talent selection over to anyone with internet access. But Charlie "Mr. Mock Zero Tolerance" Sykes seems to think that if there's nothing in the rules it's ok. Lefties didn't violate any laws in voting for Nicole Devin, but they did break the spirit of the contest. I'm pretty sure if you ask WISN programming director Jerry Bott if he wanted the opinion of a weblogger in Seattle or Miami, he'd say, "no." But that's what happened. The point was to have open auditions (I entered the lottery but didn't try out) and local listeners pick the winner. No lawyer was needed to pour through the voting rules to understand that spirit. This wasn't "fraud" in the same sense as what happened in Milwaukee last November. But some Lefities feel that talk radio is so important they need to have a voice of their own. They can either take loans from non-profit groups or organize a national campaign for a show most will never listen to.

Yes, much of the blame can be put on him for not thinking of the possibility of an organized national campaign. Tech measures could have been installed to limit this.

I'm not whining about who won. I didn't listen to any of the contestants and didn't vote. I have no horse in this race. Maybe Nicole Devin is interesting even though she's a liberal--not that there's anything wrong with that. Hell, some of my best friends are liberal. Something interesting on morning radio would be nice. WTMJ is informative but bland. Lazer 103 is funny but has little substance. Maybe Ms. Devin can find an entertaining, informative combination.

P.S. Charlie, I can listen to you and call in while on vacation. They're not mutually exclusive. I did sleep in if you want proof I'm taking it easy.

"A Vast Left Wing Conspiracy?"

"Fraud in the Milwaukee Talkstar Competition"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:16 AM | Comments (19)

August 11, 2005

Head Scratcher

Bill Christofferson is happy the Journal Sentinel editorial board still doesn't support voter photo ID. Fine, that's not the interesting part of his post. It's he calls the Journal Sentinel his "favorite Milwaukee daily newspaper." Huh? It's the only Milwaukee daily newspaper. Am I missing something? Where's that other newspaper that's doing a lousy job as competition for the Journal Sentinel?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:49 PM | Comments (4)

August 10, 2005

Voting Often...Literally

Greg Borowski filed his full story on the Wisconsin GOP's allegations that people voted in more than one city in November 2004. [See my previous post.] The party stated people with similar names and birthdates voted in Milwaukee, Chicago, Madison, and Minneapolis. Other than that they didn't say much other than the location of the press conference--in front of a Milwaukee condo--was significant. Borowski reports,

While the party did not release names or addresses, the city lists three voters at the house where the news conference took place: Stuart and Gayle Schenk and their son Joseph, who moved to Chicago last August.

Both Stuart and Gayle Schenk said Joseph did not vote in Milwaukee or request an absentee ballot here. Gayle Schenk said her son is in Chicago studying to join the Franciscan order of the Roman Catholic Church.

"It's a good thing I wasn't home," Stuart Schenk said when he learned of the news conference. "It's amazing how much nerve these people have."


Obviously the GOP didn't want to provoke a libel suit by naming names. Assuming they are accusing Joseph Schenk of voting twice it's possible someone fraudulently voted in Joseph's name in Milwaukee as well as Chicago. The U.S. District attorney said over 100 people voted fraudulently. I wouldn't be shocked if Joseph Schenk was the victim of identity theft. Since Wisconsin has no requirement to show a photo ID before registering I could have registered to vote as him. So, Bill Christofferson is wrong. Voter ID would have helped protect Joseph Schenk's franchise.

"9 May Have Voted in 2 Cities"

[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:18 AM | Comments (1)

August 09, 2005

Voter Fraud Crosses State Lines

At a press conference today the Republican Party of Wisconsin furnished evidence that people double voted in the 2004 election:

The investigation indicates that voter fraud has extended into neighboring states. The preliminary results show people recorded as voting both in Milwaukee and in the city to which they filed a change of address. Four people are recorded as voting in both Milwaukee and Chicago, two people are recorded as voting in both Milwaukee and Minneapolis and three people are recorded as voting in both Milwaukee and Madison. It was conducted by comparing the City of Milwaukee Voter History List for November 2004 with the National Change of Address List from the US Postal Service and the voter history lists for Chicago, Minneapolis and Madison. RPW will share the information with the US Attorney’s office and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office as part of their ongoing investigation into voter fraud in the November ‘04 elections.

The party timed this announcement with the GOP-controlled legislature sending a photo ID bill to Gov. Jim "Needles" Doyle for his signature or veto.

UPDATE: Bill Christofferson immediately replies,

Quick: What will a photo ID to do prevent people from voting in two states?

Nothing, of course.


Therefore voter ID shouldn't be enacted. This passes for logical thought? If you've read TAM's coverage of the voter fraud issue you know photo ID is only a start. Same-day registration has to end too. Like anything in politics small steps take you to the goal.

"No Connection Between Problem, 'Solution'"

UPDATE: Kevin at Lakeshore Laments writes,

Expect the typical response from the usual suspects. Doyle will veto it again. Xoff will call us all right-wingers, racists, vote suppressionists, and charge the GOP with insanity (repeating the same action over and over again expecting a different result). DPW will call the State GOP “scare mongers”. (Apparently they haven’t been reading their own press releases on Social Security reform lately)

So while the statewide left will go into spin mode, or better yet, Ostrich mode and ignore it like a turd in a punch bowl, the facts are still the facts.

There are 4600 more votes than voters in the City of Milwaukee alone - the rest of the Badger State’s a mystery. Dozens have been charged by U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic with voter fraud. Gwen Moore and Marvin Pratt have sons awaiting trial for their pre-election night escalades.

But again, it’s those of us who think there was/is vote fraud in this state are the ones making this up.

Whatever.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:11 PM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2005

Invasion Successful

What I learned at the Wisconsin State Fair:

Mass transit can occasionally be useful.

Eating lots of this will make you fat:


chicken.jpg

Paul Hornung is fat:


hornung.jpg

This segway-riding dude was a jerk. I just want him to stop for another picture:


segway.jpg

The Badger Blog Alliance can do some damage at a micro brew tent:


beer1.jpg


beer2.jpg

Wisconsin webloggers and readers know how to have a good time:


steve-mary.jpg
Steve the rabid reader and commenter and Mary Eileen of Stand in the Trenches who also left early to write the first post.

owen-kevin.jpg Owen of Boots & Sabers and Kevin of Lakeshore Laments.
mcadams.jpg
Professor John McAdams of Marquette Warrior.
Sorry Jib. I just didn't take a good picture of you. At least you know how to keep your mouth shut. The only "dirt" I'll mention is someone can really type.
Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:55 PM | Comments (9)

August 06, 2005

Webloggers Invade State Fair Sunday

Tomorrow is suppose to be a beautiful day. Come to the Wisconsin State Fair for food, food on a stick, food you'll be ashamed to have eaten the next morning, cream puffs, and to meet Wisconsin webloggers and weblog readers. The fun will be at the Micro Brew Tent starting at 1:00 p.m. Scheduled webloggers include Jib, Professor John McAdams, and yours truly who will be wearing his Contra Cafe t-shirt. And please heed Owen's advice, "Be sure to drop by and get your favorite blogger drunk!"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:21 PM | Comments (3)

August 04, 2005

Charlie and I Need to Talk

Charlie Sykes' latest column covers the effect webloggers are having on Wisconsin politics. We haven't garnered a Dan Rather yet, but we're having an impact. In his list of recommended weblogs he's missing one very important weblog. Hmm. I wonder if Charlie didn't like the slight criticism I gave him on his libel lawsuit?*

"The Blogger Revolt" [via Badger Blogger]

*Now let me yank my tongue out of my cheek.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:27 PM | Comments (2)

BBA Invades State Fair

Attention all webloggers and weblog readers within driving distance of the Wisconsin State Fair. Through the power of this new-fangled internets technology the Badger Blog Alliance has instantly organized a first-ever BBA meet-and-greet. On Sunday, 08.07 at 1:00 p.m. the BBA will be taking over Benno's Microbrew Tent. It should be a perfect place for us to meet:

[F]eaturing Wisconsin microbrews in 30-plus flavors, six TVs to watch your favorite sporting event and live music next door at the US Cellular International Amphitheater.

Should our conversation get too focused on the Packers, politics, or what kind of gun it took to take down this moose you can drink yourself silly with some of Wisconsin's best microbrews (I'm hoping for New Glarus Brewery's Spotted Cow) or wander off, disavow our existence, and listen to some music. It's the state fair so bring your kids, or just stop and say "hi." This isn't anything fancy. Just a nice way to names and faces together...at least until the beer starts really flowing.

Jib will be "wearing a gray Wisconsin baseball jersey with red script and a gray Wisconsin hat with the red W." I'll try to remember to wear my new favorite t-shirt that just came in the mail.

WARNING: There will be cameras there. Cameras, beer, and cream puffs: oooh, scary combination.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:08 AM | Comments (1)

August 03, 2005

Finley's Wacky Idea

When Dan Finley decided to leave his Waukesha County County Executive job to take over the Milwaukee Public Museum he ended any near-term political aspirations. He was rumored to one day run for governor, but the rise of Scott Walker snuffed his chance of being the Republican who could claim Milwaukee's vote-rich suburbs. Now, that that pressure is gone, Finley has gotten goofy by proposing a regional cultural district to run the museum as well as other cash-strapped venues like the zoo, the Mitchell Park Domes, and the Marcus Center.

What an astounding idea! Let's combine a bunch of financially unstable entities and see what kind of synergy can be squeezed out of them. That has success written all over it. Where was Finley during the halcyon dot-com days? He probably thought the Excite/@Home merger was brilliant. Finley must have standing a little too close to the microwave. I think a few neurons got fried.

Finley can claim all he wants that a cultural district doesn't equal a tax, but he used Miller Park as an example of what he envisions. Bad example since the stadium district taxes a five-county region to pay for the ballpark. Plus, how could any cultural district have any power if didn't have a source of financing? Government doesn't work like that. The purse is all-powerful. Finley isn't stupid, he knows that. Hasn't Southeast Wisconsin been taxed enough?

Finley and those that run the troubled attractions in the area have a solution that would allow people from the entire region to provide funding: offer something of value. That means places like the Domes and the public museum have to draw interest from the regional community. They'll have to do a better job marketing and improving their facilities. Marketing and cost-control have to be a priority. People need to know what's available and think they're getting something for a good price. Maybe something should be closed? That's how private businesses work. What is required is creativity, ingenuity, and hard work.

Every summer we witness a great example of a non-profit providing so much value it draws in almost 1 million people: Summerfest. Paying for bands, employees, food, beer, and rent costs tons. On top of that they advertise and give away bushels of tickets. The result of all that savy was $10 million in revenue in 11 days. They're in the black. A lot could be learned from the Big Gig.

"Finley Urges New Cultural District"

"A Culture Tax"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2005

Silly Season

When you combine a slow, summer news cycle with an election next year you get a crazy stunt like sending an opponent 1400 hyperdermic needles. Elizabeth Kastner was a moron for keep them for the sole purpose of sending them to Assembly Speaker John Gard, but Gov. Jim Doyle's office was even more moronic to assisting. This incident even garnered a police report.

John Galt writes,

Is it too much to ask that our governor have a maturity level that nips inappropriate and incivil antics in the bud – even if they come from supporters of his? I’d like to think it is not. But instead of stopping this dangerous and downright tacky tantrum in its tracks, Governor Doyle has placed his imprimatur on it and dispatched his staff to participate in it and even defend it. That action demeans the office of Governor and speaks volumes about what a petty, classless boor Jim Doyle the person is.

Kevin gives us a dossier on "Crazy" Kastner.

This is going to be one long governor's election. Woe is us.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:16 PM | Comments (0)

David Clarke: Flake

Thank god David Clarke never became Milwaukee mayor. Sure, the man makes some good conservative statements, but the guy has a lousy management style. It sure looks like Clarke retaliated against Deputy Michael Schuh for his critical comments of the sheriff in a union newsletter. Clarke pretty much admitted it when he told reporters,

One cannot expect, internally, that if they make some criticism against the sheriff that they will never be reassigned, that they will be immune from accountability.

Then there's Schuh's new assignment:
His sweeping list of duties includes collaborating with elected officials to find money for a "comprehensive strategy to restore order."

He is also to remove all abandoned cars from streets, alleys and yards, and identify all landlords and work with the city to bring their properties into code compliance.


Clarke whipped his new plan together last Friday, the same day Schuh's criticism was published. What timing!

Clarke's statements to Charlie Sykes and other talk radio yappers made him a potential political rising star. We're finding out he's just a vindictive blowhard.

"Sheriff Defends Deputy's Move"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:24 AM | Comments (2)

July 25, 2005

Sykes' Libel Case

My fellow Wisconsin webloggers haven't let me down in talking about Robert Miranda's libel case against Charlie Sykes. James Widerson recalls Sykes contacting him to see if he remembered Robert Miranda attending a 1991 pro-war rally at UWM. Owen at Boots & Sabers reminds me Sykes only had the offending post on his weblog for a few hours. He took it down, but the post could still be accessible if you knew where to look. Sykes has retracted his original reporting. That may lead to a settlement before the trial starts Tuesday.

I'm a fan of Sykes and have been on his radio show. I have a bias. But still, what Sykes has done is commendable. He posted a story in good faith and when he discovered it was flawed he stepped back from it. Was he perfect in his retraction? No. It feels very defensive to issue a full-blown correction just before a libel trial is set to begin. I haven't heard him mention his correction on his radio show. I would hope he'd do that if he hasn't already. However, Sykes' correction is far different from one in the Journal Sentinel. With the newspaper you have to dig around to the corrections section (where is it anyway?). Sykes treated his correction just like any weblog post. As Owen writes,

The duty of any good blogger is to correct that information in a public way as soon as he or she knows that it is false. But even if the information is corrected, the original incorrect information can remain on the web forever.

"Libel Suit Against Sykes"

As an aside, Miranda originally claimed he wasn't in Milwaukee at the time of the 1991 rally. When pressed by Milwaukee Magazine he said, "I don’t know how I can prove where I was."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2005

Missing Wisconsin Woman

I post this e-mail alert as a favor to my sometimes-weblogging partner Shawn:

Tracey Marie Breure, age 16, was last seen on Saturday, July 16th, 2005 after leaving work at the Super-Valu in Osceola, WI.

She was driving a white, 1996 Ford Taurus, WI plates 124-JHN.

She is believed to be in the company of Ryan Anthony Hall, age 20 of 124 Main St. Luck, WI.

It is not known if she left of her own free will or not.

Any help you can provide in getting the word out would be greatly appreciated.

http://www.tacticstc.com/tracey/

Anyone with information should contact the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department at 715-386-4701 and us at 715-497-5731.


Don't worry. TAM won't become Natalie Holloway North.

UPDATE: Tracey is safe. The U.S. Border Patrol stopped her when she tried to cross into Canada. Shawn and I would both agree, "Praise God."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2005

The Speed of Justice

January 9, 2006. That's when Democratic operatives accused of vandalizing Republican vans on Election Day 2004 will stand trial. That's fourteen months. My what a break-neck pace E. Michael McCann's office takes on cases embarassing to the Democratic Party.

"5 to be Tried Early Next Year in Election Day Tire-Slashing" [via Boots & Sabers]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:11 PM | Comments (1)

Connecting the Dots

Four administrators at UW-Milwaukee resigned and are or will be paid over $600,000. And UW System president Kevin Reilly has the gall to claim the system can't take any more budget cuts. Reilly better get his costs under control before he asks taxpayers for more money.

"UWM Grants Leaves after Resignations" [via Charlie Sykes]

"UW System Can't Take More Cuts, Chief Says"

UPDATE: State Representative Rob Kreibich is working on legislation that would end paid leave and backup jobs for university administrators. He told the Journal Sentinel, "Because of backup jobs, you end up paying six-figure salaries for administrators who don't work out."

"Lawmaker Seeks Ban on UW Resignation Payoffs"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:28 AM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2005

NAACP Honors Radical Bush Hater

The NAACP National Convention in Milwaukee gives Brew City some nice national exposure. Things have gotten interesting now that the organization honored Harry Belafonte with the NAACP Chairman's Living Legend Award.

NAACP chairman Julian Bond praised Mr. "Banana Boat Song" saying, "You have been an outspoken advocate for human rights here and abroad."

Belafonte certainly has been "outspoken." In 2002, Belafonte told a San Diego radio audience:

There's an old saying in the days of slavery. There are those slaves on the plantation and there were those slaves who lived in the big house. You got the privilege of living in the house to serve the master. Colin Powell was permitted to come into the house of the master.

Mr. "Banana Boat Song" had even more contempt for Condi Rice. As Clarence Page (no conservative) wrote:

He repeated his remarks in later interviews including CNN's "Larry King Live," where Belafonte said he thought Rice was worse than Powell because he had not heard from Rice "even the suggestion" of the more agreeable thoughts he had heard from Powell.

Belafonte hasn't stopped with his attacks on the Bush administration:

For 30 pieces of silver (Bush) has corrupted so many of our black church leaders.

It's blasphemy when they evoke the word of God and say the war in Iraq is a just war. They have failed their flock. Let us not be confused, their God is not the God we serve. The American people have been repeatedly lied to.

Belafonte urged the NAACP to crank up the "radicalness." Then he'll be happy knowing the organization will shakedown "private companies as part of its economic agenda, seeking reparations from corporations with historical ties to slavery and boycotting companies that refuse to participate in its annual business diversity report card." It doesn't matter that all the slaves and all the slave masters are dead. There's money and power at stake. Hey, Jesse Jackson has made a living from this. Why should he be the only person having all the "fun?"

"The Call Goes Out: Do More"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:44 AM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2005

A Nice Cafe

If you're in the West Bend, WI area check out St. Somewhere Cafe. There's plenty of light, the coffee drinks are good (just don't put too much sugar in your latte), and the Wi-Fi is free. I just wish I had more juice in my notebook's battery.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2005

Earth Day Founder Dies

Sen. Gaylord Nelson, creator of the pagan holiday Earth Day, died at his Maryland home.

"Gaylord Nelson: Earth Day Founder was a Voice Crying out for the Wilderness"

"Earth Day Founder Gaylord Nelson Dead at 89"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:37 AM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2005

Obey Declares Victory...for the Bad Guys

Rep. David Obey said Iraq is a lost cause. "There will be no victory in Iraq. The question is whether there is some way of salvaging the situation," he told a newspaper.

Wow. In just a few weeks allied forces kicked Saddam from power. A few months later he was captured. Now, Iraq is on the path to a free, stable government. I wonder what Obey would consider victory? I also wonder what he would have said about the carnage a Normandy if he was a Congressman during WWII?

"Kohl Opposes Setting Deadline for Troop Pullout" [via BBA]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:06 AM | Comments (0)

Father Wild is a Liar

The votes are in and Marquette will remain the Golden Eagles. I love the audacity of MU president Father Robert Wild when he said (presumably with a straight face), "We had an honest, brokered process that led us back to Golden Eagles."

Hmm. The process involved denying MU skateholders the Warriors option. Judging from Mark Belling's poll that's the name most people wanted. Wild denied voters that choice because he knew Warriors would win. And we can't have a liberal Catholic university admit they were wrong.

One more thing: MU alumni Wayne Sanders is a complete fool. He's the trustee who started the debate by offering MU $1 million dollars to bring back Warriors. Wow, he really fought for his cause.

Professor McAdams has plenty of good thoughts.

"Much Ado for Nothing at MU"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:50 AM | Comments (5)

June 28, 2005

Milwaukee Needs More Money for Elections

The City of Milwaukee examined its voting procedures and came to a typically liberal conclusion: we need more money. How about not bothering with the $41 million for PabstCity developers and using that for election reform--a proper city function?

But seriously how should we trust any Milwaukee elections when we found out "The election office had no written procedures for running the election." They were winging it. Because of this fact I discount soon-to-be new Election Commission Sue Edman when she said, "I don't see the problems as being widespread. No. There isn't widespread fraud. Not at all." She has no idea. None at all.

"City Election Fixes Rely on Getting Aid"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:12 AM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2005

Walker on the Blogroll

With permalinks in place Scott Walker's weblog can now be safely added to the TAM blogroll.

Now, what does he think about the Kelo decision?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2005

Vote Fraud Charges Filed

The first charges have been filed in Milwaukee's voter fraud scandal:

A Milwaukee Police Department sweep of election records led to federal charges Wednesday against three voters accused of casting improper ballots in November.

A man on parole and a woman on probation for felony convictions cast one ballot each, even though state law forbids felons under state supervision from voting, according to the criminal complaints in their cases. The woman, Kimberly E. Prude, 41, also worked as an election inspector, even though such workers are required to be qualified to vote, the complaint states.

Also on election day, a third man cast two ballots, registering - and voting - once with his driver's license then repeating the process using his Social Security card as identification, according to a criminal complaint.


Thankfully these were federal charges so Milwaukee District Attorney E. Michael "Plea Bargain" McCann can't drop them to next to nothing.

"Federal Charges Filed Against Three Voters"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:11 AM | Comments (2)

June 22, 2005

Still Not Enough for Racine Schools

Look at the glee in the tax increasers. They really love to spend money.

The Racine school district is already getting ready to ask voters for a tax increase next year.

[School Board Member Randy] Bangs said the board will continue to search for ways to make the district more efficient so that next year, if finances necessitate it, the district will attempt to pass a spending referendum for a minimal amount.

Superintendent Thomas Hicks is already threatening draconian cuts next year if taxpayers don't bend over and take it again.

Racine voters were suckers. They get what they voted for.

"Racine Voters OK Money for Schools"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:39 AM | Comments (5)

June 21, 2005

Scaring Their Way to Victory

Racine voters gave into a school board who couldn't say no to controlling spending. A high school band was even sent out to "encourage" voters to vote the "right" way. The scare tactics worked and Racine becomes a bigger tax hell in a tax hell state. Patrick calls them "suckers."

"Racine School Referendum Passes"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2005

Wisconsin Net Outage

My mother told me a fiber cable was cut knocking the Badger State off the internet. I have no news story to support that, but I had zero net access this morning--I blamed it on the "high quality" service I get from Charter. If anyone has any details let me know.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:05 PM | Comments (3)

June 14, 2005

"Gut Instinct" Isn't Necessarily Bad

Many parents in Milwaukee's school choice program don't engage in "extensive research" and rely on "informal networks" to choose a school. This may be uncomfortable for some including school choice advocate Howard Fuller, but it fits in nicely with F. A. Hayek's (and maybe even Michael Oakeshott's) view of knowledge. Not all useful knowledge is in the form that can be spelled out in a book, report, or advertising piece. Even a parent's "gut instinct" is based on tacit, time-place specific knowledge the individual doesn't even realize he possesses.

"Gut Instinct Guides Parents' Choices"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:30 AM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2005

Collusion in Teachers Health Care

Owen at Boots & Sabers got a hold of a very interesting e-mail. It shows WEA Trust, an insurance company created by the Wisconsin teachers union, was talking with Dean Health Plan about a non-compete agreement in the public school market. Owen writes,

What we have here is evidence of an act of collusion between insurance companies whereby they effectively grant WEA Trust a monopoly within the public school market.

What did Dean Health get in return? I'd guess it could be some kind of market segregation agreement. Did WEA Trust agree to not enter non-school markets that Dean Health serves? Or was something more nefarious agreed to?

Is this legal? If Microsoft would found with a memo like this the software giant would have been broken up.

This reminds me of the Adam Smith quote about collusion:

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.

In this case prices were raised and the taxpayers are stuck with the bill.

How long until a Wisconsin MSM outlet takes up this juicy story?

"Securing WEA Trusts' Monopoly"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:03 PM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2005

Hilltoppers vs. Golden Eagles

Marquette University's quest for a new, non-Warriors nickname is down to two choices: Hilltoppers or Golden Eagles. It'd be nice to know how many people wrote in Warriors but we don't even know the vote totals from the first round:

The school declined to announce any detailed information on how the first round of voting broke down. According to a university press release, "it was mutually agreed between Marquette and Advantage Research Inc., the independent research firm conducting the poll, that information from the first poll will be released after the second poll has been completed so as not to introduce bias into the vote."

It would be quite a scoop is both pieces of information were leaked to say a local weblogger *wink* *wink*.

"MU Nickname List Pared to Golden Eagles, Hilltoppers"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:37 PM | Comments (1)

Saved by the Professor

Marquette University professor John McAdams has the results of Mark Belling's poll. With over 92% of the vote Warriors won. I'm not surprised it won, but I am surprised at the margin. I wonder how many Warrior write-ins the offical university poll got? I'm sure Warriors won there too, but the pig-headed administration will never let that info escape.

"Belling’s Nickname Straw Poll"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2005

Belling's Warrior Vote

I just turned on Mark Belling's show. I missed the vote tallies for his Marquette nickname vote, but it sounds like Warriors was a strong winner. Belling isn't smart enough to post the results on his website so I don't know how much Warriors won by. Can any of my Belling-listening readers help me out?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:33 PM | Comments (3)

June 03, 2005

Museum Mess

Unless many good things happen we may see the end of a Milwaukee cultural institution. The Milwaukee Public Museum in the past few weeks has shown itself to be a financial disaster. They have a $7 million budget deficit, have already laid off 56 people with more to come.

Museum president and CEO Michael Stafford resigned this morning citing "the impact of negative publicity these past weeks" that has "my effectiveness as a leader and fundraiser in this community." In other words, no one has any faith in him. That's not a surprise since during his 18 month term the museum went from popular crowd pleaser to financial embarassment.

So far there has been no evidence Stafford did anything dishonest, unethical, or illegal to bring about the museum's demise. A Milwaukee County audit is suppose to be finished next week. What we do know is this collapse occured on Stafford's watch. Museum Board Chairman David Meissner can defend Stafford all he wants by saying Stafford was "not the cause of the museum's current financial hardship." We do know the museum was fine financially before Stafford arrive, and now it's on critical life support. If Meissner knows who is responsible for this mess he should let us know. If he doesn't maybe he should consider resigning too since a board chairman should have some inkling of what is going on.

"Public Museum President Stafford Resigns"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:53 PM | Comments (0)

Getting Hungry

It's always painful when Dennis Getto puts together his list of the 30 best Milwaukee-area resturants. If the hunger pangs don't hurt I know my wallet soon will be.

"Served with Distinction"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2005

Six Inches

Six inches was all it took for a man to win his appeal of a speeding ticket. Paul Mertz claims he went 59 mph in a 35-mph zone because a speed limit sign was six inches too small. No, sir. You missed the sign because you were going so damn fast. And a state appeals court tossed common sense out the window.

"Man Fights Speeding Ticket On Basis Of Sign Size"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:09 AM | Comments (3)

May 24, 2005

Even Mad-City Mad About Taxes

The state GOP should be using their brains now that even Lefty-haven Madison is getting tired of endless tax increases.

"Madison School Referendum Fails"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

Other Nickname Voting

Mark Belling is hosting a better poll for Marquette's new nickname. Better because voting for Warriors is an acceptable choice.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)

Polls Have Opened

Marquette students, staff, and alumni can now start voting for the new school nickname--as long as it isn't Warriors. If I could vote I'd pick Golden Avalanche. One-third of GOP3.com is backing Hilltoppers, and Professor McAdams confirmed that people can pick one of the listed names, write in Warriors and not have their ballot spoiled.

"MU Begins Process to End Identity Crisis"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:54 AM | Comments (2)

May 21, 2005

The Next Radio Superstar

WISN will be holding open auditions for a new local talk show host. Give the judges your best three minutes of talk and you might land a two year contract. I've always considered TAM my written version of talk radio. Let's see if I can parlay this to a radio audience.

"Here's Your Shot at a Talk Radio Slot"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:21 AM | Comments (12)

May 16, 2005

Warrior Update

Prof. McAdams is doing a great job covering all the angles of the Marquette University Warriors fiasco. Some highlights include:


  • MU has done a poor job educating all the rubes who want Warriors back.

  • Ray DePerry, Indian "spokesman" didn't have a problem with Warriors about eight months ago.

  • A video demonstrating Warriors are part of the Jesuit tradition.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:18 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2005

Worst. Job. Ever.

I nominate condom collector at Milwaukee's sewage plant.

First, a single laborer armed with a swimming pool skimmer was posted at the chlorine tanks at Jones Island to nab condoms that survived earlier phases of screening at the plant. To date, the effort has yielded 14,020 stubborn condoms scooped from the final sewage treatment soup over 551 days. Average daily yield: 25.4 condoms, according to the district.

And it cost taxpayers $52.15 an hour.

Owen has more.

"Condom Control — at a Price"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:26 PM | Comments (5)

May 13, 2005

MU Hustled

In the Warrior battle Professor McAdams writes that Marquette University has been deeply influenced by the Great Lakes Inter-tribal Council. Specifically by Raymond DePerry. MU brought DePerry to the campus to speak on Indians as mascots presuming he represented the Native American community. Well, it seems DePerry isn't much of a representative since he's been prevented from seeking a third term as tribal chairman of the Red Cliff Tribal Council. Other council members accuse him of not actually living on the reservation. As McAdams writes, "Marquette was, to put it bluntly, hustled by a racial hustler."

"Marquette’s Tainted 'Native American Spokesperson'" [via GOP3.com]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

Without a Prescription but with an ID

Soon when you are suffering from a cold or allergies you'll need to have some photo ID ready when you march to the pharmacist. In an example of the Wisconsin GOP inconviencing just about everybody they passed a bill to limit and track sales of non-prescription medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used in the making of methamphetamine. Stuff like Sudafed while technically considered "over-the-counter" will soon be behind the counter.

Because of the bill's wording some medicines won't be stashed behind the counter. Products containing pseudoephedrine in a liquid form are exempt. That's fine for some, but many depend on the popular Sudafed. Unintentionally, the state legislature is playing doctor and economic favorites. And if meth makers find a way to use liquids state authorities will slap restrictions on all pseudoephedrine products.

What really disturbs be is how this bill passed a Republican-controlled legislature with hardly no opposition. Rep. Kitty Rhoades, a Republican, sponsored the bill and it sailed through the Senate with no opposition (thanks for nothing Sen. Grothman) and only six representatives opposed it in the State Assembly. This is the same party that cries out about limiting government through TABOR, but expands it because they can't think of anything besides quasi-prohibition to fight the methamphetamine problem.

"Bill Limits Sale of Cold Medicines Used to Make Meth" [via BBA]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:05 PM | Comments (1)

May 12, 2005

Very Short Hiatus

Marquette's continuing nickname embarassment, voting fraud discovered, and the GOP wanting to raise the state's minimum wage. You'd think TAM would be on top of all these stories. Don't worry. No need to issue an Amber Alert. What seems to happen whenever I come back from a trip is I get zonked out and have to catch up on sleep. BlogNashville took a lot out of me, but I had a great time doing it. I hope to write some posts tonight.

All of us hacked off about the voter fraud that occured last year, we should be happy E. Michael McCann actually wants to arrest some people. But how much you want to bet he'll plea bargain them as fast as he can?

"Arrests Sought in Election Fraud"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2005

Webloggers and Talk Radio Weren't Blowing Smoke

Well, well, well. I guess conservative talk radio hosts and webloggers weren't just racists trying to stop minorities from voting by pointing out a whole host of possible voting fraud in Milwaukee. The joint, bipartisan federal-local investigation found voting fraud really did happen:

Investigators said Tuesday they found clear evidence of fraud in the Nov. 2 election in Milwaukee, including more than 200 cases of felons voting illegally and more than 100 people who voted twice, used fake names or false addresses or voted in the name of a dead person.

Officials said charges will be filed in coming weeks, as individual cases are reviewed and more evidence is gathered.


I will comment more tomorrow.

"Inquiry Finds Evidence of Fraud in Election"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:50 PM | Comments (2)

May 09, 2005

Green Wins Straw Poll

Here's a quick thought on the straw poll for the governor's race at this weekend's Wisconsin GOP Convention. Mark Green has a lead over Scott Walker. How much is a little hard to tell. Green's campaign might have just put lots of time and effort into winning the straw poll while Walker's campaign saw the convention for what it was, an off-year event for political diehards. My gut instinct is Walker's support came from Southeast Wisconsin where they've seen him actually coverning in a conservative way. Activists in the rest of the state just haven't seen Walker in action but know Green has been toiling away in the House of Representatives. Walker needs to go out beyond Milwaukee County and tell Republicans that not only can a conservative win an election in that Milwaukee but he has faced the same fiscal problems affecting the Badger State.

"WisPolitics.com: Green, Van Hollen Winners in WisPolitics Straw Poll" [via Boots & Sabers]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:17 AM | Comments (0)

Funding Schools with Medicaid

Wisconsin public schools have been using Medicare funds to shore up their budgets.

Pinched by the state-set revenue caps, more and more public schools have tapped into a Medicaid reimbursement program that now is pumping millions of dollars into their coffers every year.

Shortly after state lawmakers approved the program in 1995, relatively few districts sought reimbursements for the medical services they provided to students with special needs who qualified for Medicaid, the state-federal health care program. In fiscal year 1997, slightly less than $2.4 million was reimbursed to districts.

But as word spread about the program to districts eager to find new sources of revenue, it swiftly caught on.

Reimbursements swelled to $23.8 million in fiscal 2004 to the 280 districts of the 426 in the state now participating in the program. Since 2001, reimbursement totals have ranged from $21 million to more than $23 million annually.


Public schools like the program because they don't have to control expenses as much as they would have. The state likes it because they take a 40% cut and put it into the general fund. So thank you citizens of Tennessee, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and all the rest of the states for helping us not control our spending.

I'll need to work up some cleaver wording but there should be a maxium that states that when "free" money is available government will find a way to grab as much as it can.

"Medicaid Helping Schools Trim Funding Shortages"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:10 AM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2005

Wisconsin GOP Convention

If BlogNashville weren't happening this weekend I'd be in Sheboygan tooling around the Wisconsin GOP Convention. Wisely, the state GOP are letting webloggers cover the action. So Kevin, Owen, Lord Ben, and the GOP3.com youngins (when they're not saying "No 2 Gold") will hopefully provide some interesting news and insight.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:02 PM | Comments (0)

Fool's Gold

It's just a school nickname. Why get so upset? Hell, I didn't even attend Marquette.

The issue of Marquette giving in again to an ethnic pressure group encapsulates a whole bunch of issues: racism, political correctness, tradition, community, and liberal dominance of universities.

Since when did any ethnic group have a monopoly on the use of a word? Marquette University seems to think that the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC) has such control of the word "warrior." They have been steadfast in their opposition to the Marquette's use of that word as an athletic nickname. I'm sorry to tell the GLITC they don't control the word. Other than in Marquette's specific historical instance warrior has no racist connotation. And that's due to the school's choice of mascots rather than the nickname. "Warrior" is simply a word for a fighter, a soldier. The word brings up feelings of pride, accomplishment, loyalty, duty, honor. No racial group, not whites, blacks, or Indians have a monopoly on those traits.

Marquette president Father Robert Wild said,

But as we worked through it, we became convinced that we live in a different era than when the Warriors name was selected in 1954. The perspective of time has shown us that our actions, intended or not, can offend others. We must not knowingly act in a way that others will believe, based on their experience, to be an attack on their dignity as human beings. We cannot teach one principle about respect for human dignity in our classrooms, than fail to act by the same principle when making decisions.

No one called for the return of the Indian mascot or Willie Wampum. Pro-warriors simply wanted the return of their school's nickname which was taken away for no good reason.

From the Journal Sentinel we get this bit of drivel from Dale Hoffman:

They fought off the pressure to re-insult an entire culture.

It goes to show even the sports page if filled with the same Lefty, politically correct as the rest of the paper. In Wild and Hoffman's world warrior equals Indian. Only Indians can be warriors. Tell that to the brave souls of many races, creeds, colors, and nationalities who fought and died in Afghanistan and Iraq.

On the editorial page we have even more politically correct, conventional wisdom:

Now is - ahem - a golden opportunity to remember and appreciate that Marquette University did not return to the Warriors nickname. Doing so would have boorishly given offense to a race of people and betrayed the principles on which the Catholic institution stands.

The board implies all those students, alumni, and MU fans are closet racists for wanted back the Warriors nickname they loved so much. None of these liberals ever has made a serious attempt to convince the pro-Warriors why the word was so offensive. That's because they have no intellectual rock to stand on. And why bother when you can just talk down to them in a language they think they can easily understand?

"Gold: Pan It or Dig it?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:50 AM | Comments (3)

Wade Dumbfounded

Dwayne Wade, possibly the greatest player in Marquette basketball history, wasn't too sure about dumping the Golden Eagles for the Gold:

ESPN: Your alma mater, Marquette, changed their nickname to the Gold. . . . What do you think of that?

Wade: To the what?

ESPN: To the Gold. The Marquette Gold. That's what they're going with now.

Wade: Awh . . . I got to call. I got to call in on that one.

ESPN: We are breaking some news.

Wade: I heard they were trying to change it back to Warriors.

ESPN: No, I guess they are going with Gold. I'm surprised they didn't call you to check to see if it was OK with you.

Wade: The Gold?

ESPN: Yeah.

Wade: No, I got to make a phone call to Marquette after we get off this . . . (laughter). . . . I don't know about that one.

ESPN: So that might change . . .

Wade: Marquette Gold. The Gold!

ESPN: All right, Dwyane . . . So far so good. I know your word carries a lot of weight at Marquette as well as Miami. Congratulations, enjoy the rest of the playoffs.

Wade: Thank you, I will. The Gold?

Wade, the ex-Golden Eagle, can call MU all he wants. In the words of wimpy MU Board of Trustees chairman John Bergstrom, "We're done." Now begins the process of focus groups and other marketing clap trap to force the new nickname down students' and alumni's throats. Or as MU president Father Robert Wild put it, "This is not an optional program. This is going to be a brand that we're going to build."

"It's Gold. Period."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:12 AM | Comments (1)

May 05, 2005

McAdams Shreads

Professor McAdams' commentary on the Gold fiasco is so good. You. Must. Read. It. All.

He ends it with this:

It was a sham, and a charade, and a transparent one. Marquette will be paying for it for years to come.

And parents who think that a “Jesuit education” is somehow something special will be reconsidering. They can get political correctness a lot cheaper.


Big winner: UW-Madison.

"Trustees Turn Chicken"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:09 AM | Comments (2)

Basketball Players Hate Gold

At an anti-Gold rally Marquette star point guard Travis Diener "took the megaphone and yelled “NO GOLD” into it distinctly."

Another anti-Gold rally is planned for Friday.

"No 2 Gold Rally this Friday"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:00 AM | Comments (1)

May 04, 2005

MU Petition Drive

If you're a Marquette student sign GOP3.com's petition to let students "decide the mascot by vote."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2005

Photo ID Veto Sustained

Gov. Jim Doyle Friday vetoed the voter photo ID. Today, the State Assembly failed to override his veto.

Although the photo ID bill was one of the most hotly debated issues during Tuesday's session, the outcome wasn't a surprise. Republicans had expected to fall short of having a two-thirds majority - 66 votes - to override Doyle's veto of the bill.

The final vote was 61 to 34. Four Assembly Democrats - Reps. Peggy Krusick of Milwaukee, Tom Nelson of Kaukauna, Tony Staskunas of West Allis and Bob Ziegelbauer of Manitowoc - joined Republicans in supporting it. Two Republicans - Reps. Terri McCormick of Appleton and Suzanne Jeskewitz of Menomonee Falls - weren't present for the vote.


Someone should ask what was occupying the two missing representatives' time.

While Doyle gets to maintain an election status quo Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Rep. Mark Green both get a popular issue to hammer the incumbant with. 80+% of likely voters back a photo ID requirement before voting. 70% of municiple clerks, the people who run local polls, also back the measure. Yet Doyle is too politically tone deaf or too beholden to Democrats who don't mind shenanigans at the polls.

Because of the veto Assembly Republicans want to put photo ID in the state constitution. I'm in the same boat as Owen. The state constitution should be left as the general outline of how state government should function. Such detailed amendments would cutter the document. Detailed policy like photo ID needs to be left simply as state statutes.

"No ID Needed at Polls Anytime Soon"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:56 PM | Comments (3)

May 01, 2005

Deduct This

Someone always finds a twist to any story. About Sharon Rosenfeld who gave up her Packers tickets instead of going to jail some tax professors debated whether she could claim a charitable tax deduction. Answer: no.

"Can Packers Fan Deduct Season Tickets Donated to Charity to Avoid Jail Time?" [via Conglomerate]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:41 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2005

Numbers Game

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is accused of puffing up their circulation numbers for nine years in a lawsuit filed today. Shorewest Realtors is seeking class action status and says they have evidence of fraud from current and former newspaper employees. What also has to be pointed out that the paper has recently fired managers in the circulation and marketing areas. Where there's smoke there might be fire.

"Realty Company Sues Journal Sentinel" [via My View of the World]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)

Let Off Easy

The Appleton Post-Crescent has a little more on Sharon Rosenfeld giving up her Packers tickets instead of going to jail. Her choice is part of a sentence that includes two years probation. Not bad for using her union for short-term loans. If I were the judge I would have made her give up the tickets and spend 90 days in jail.

"Woman Gives up Packers Tickets to Forgo Jail Time"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:07 PM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2005

Giving Up the Tickets

Sharon Rosenthal seriously considered it, but she gave up her Green Bay Packers season tickets instead of going to jail. I heard the news on WISN radio and will post a link when the story hits the web.

UPDATE: We now have WBAY in Green Bay confirming the story.

"Woman Chooses Packers Tickets Over Jail"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:05 PM | Comments (1)

April 21, 2005

Denial

Muskego high school principle Dennis Bussen denies solely approving $57,000 in plasma screen TVs and sound system. Bussen said, "I never saw any of the costs. I wasn't handling the financing." He said assistant superintendent Bob Rammer and superindentdent Richard Drury were together in a meeting about the TVs.

All three of us, in looking at the recommendation (from the audio-video company), concurred it was the best recommendation. . . . It would be the most appropriate for the space. The last I knew, the company was going to come back with some costing.

Then magically the tvs were installed. Someone had to sign off. No TV installer would do that much work and not be sure it was approved. Someone signed off on it. Who? Time to dig up the paperwork.

If passing the buck ever becomes an official high school sport watch out, Muskego will be one of the best.

"Principal Says TVs were Joint Decision"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:01 AM | Comments (2)

April 18, 2005

Harvest the Cats

Instead of shooting feral cats, an east coast cabbie thinks they should be harvested as a delicacy. That would really help ease Wisconsin's current laughingstock image.

"One Cab Driver's Solution to Wisconsin's Cat Problem"

[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam: Vacation Edition.]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:31 AM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2005

Waukesha Rove Report

Daniel at GOP3.com thinks I got ahead of myself in thinking Karl Rove (and thus President Bush) is backing Scott Walker for governor. Daniel was at the Waukesha Lincoln Day Dinner and provides a report. Anyone have a report from the Lake Geneva dinner?

"An Evening with Karl Rove Means Lots of ‘06 Politicking"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:33 AM | Comments (1)

April 10, 2005

Roving around the Badger State

Karl "The Architect" Rove was in the Badger State speaking before Republican Party faithful. In Waukesha, Rove talked about the importance of the tough but failed fight for Wisconsin's electoral votes. Even though the state went for John Kerry Rove told supporters the battle for votes was vital for President Bush's re-election victory.

You seem to think you came up short, and you did in the Electoral College. But without your effort here, we wouldn't have won. You don't fight someone just in one place, you fight them all along the line and make them spread their resources. You scared the heck out of [Kerry].

From the political baseball file we learned who Rove would like to win the GOP governor primary. "W stands for Walker." That being Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker who is facing Rep. Mark Green.

In Lake Geneva, Rove talked about Social Security reform and we have one picture of the Dark Prince.

"Rove Says Wisconsin Was Key to Bush Win Despite Voting for Kerry"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:27 PM | Comments (1)

April 09, 2005

Rove Sighting

Karl Rove will speak in Lake Geneva today, and tee bee has a connection with pics to follow.

"Break Out the Tin Foil"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2005

Jeopardy! Champ Coming to Cheeseland

Sean and other Wisconsinite Jeopardy! Freaks: Your hero (and mine), Ken Jennings, is coming to Wausau!

A millionaire game show whiz joins thousands of competitors this weekend at the 36th annual self-proclaimed world's largest trivia contest.

Ken Jennings, who won nearly $2.5 million during a 74-game winning streak playing "Jeopardy," will visit the contest in Stevens Point to witness the competition in his research for a new book about trivia.

This is probably too short of notice for some. It's a good thing the article didn't say Brett Favre would be in Stevens Point too, because then all of Wisconsin would end up in Stevens Point. But "Brett Favre" and "trivia contest" just don't go well together.

[Sean comments: It's 12:16 am on 04.09. I wanted to hear how hard the questions are but WWSP has too many people listening on the net. This is a big deal. Maybe next year I should organize a group of friends and webloggers. I'd love to see how the power of the blogosphere would fare.]

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Wisconsin at 07:52 AM | Comments (2)

April 07, 2005

Tobacco Politics

It's bad when politicians want to raise taxes. It's worse when Wisconsin politicians want to raise taxes in an already highly-taxed state. But what is even worse is when Republican politicians are the ones advocating a tax hike. Rep. Curt Gielow is doing his best to earn a RINO label by co-sponsoring a $1 increase in the cigarette tax to fund Medicaid and government anti-smoking efforts. Geilow calls it a "co-pay on those who smoke cigarettes."

Gov. Doyle never advocated raising the cigarette tax in his budget and has promised to veto any tax increases. So Madison has become like Alice's Wonderland where a Republican wants to raise a tax while a Democrat opposes it.

Charlie Sykes spelled out the lesson elected officials should take from Tuesday's elections. The public is tired of tax increases. A dollar taxed by government is one dollar less in the private, productive economy. In Wisconsin the fiscal problem has never been the lack of revenue, it's been the inability for those elected to control spending. More money into the state's coffers will be a temporary fix. If the cigarette tax was increased in a few years the politicians would come back saying they had to raise it again. If the spigot is finally turned off they'll have to so something shocking: evaluate programs and make priorities. That might include *gasp* cutting something. The only way we'll get to that point is if we stop feeding the beast.

"Cigarette Tax Boost Sought"

---

On Tuesday, Appleton voters stomped on private property rights and passed the state's most restrictive smoking ban. Barring court challenges on 07.01 smoking will be banned in all indoor public places. That includes bars and resturants. Anyone want to go to up there with me to smoke a few cigars in protest?

"Smoking Ban Passes"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:54 AM | Comments (3)

Tower Investigation Plods Along

Last October, two electrical towers fell in south Milwaukee. Months later, the FBI is no where near figuring out who did it. A pair of gloves found near the fallen towers pointed investigators to Bob Gallob. But after lie detector tests, DNA tests, search warrants, and hours of questioning no charges have been filed.

As I wrote last fall, this would be a strange terrorist attack:

If this was a terrorist attack no one has claimed responsiblity, but it could put fear into America's heartland. No longer would cities on the East Coast be the only successful targets.

There hasn't been a rash of power towers falling. But Gallob can't explain how his gloves got near the fallen towers. There's no indication Gallob would have any motive. Someone who's a more likely suspect is Gallob's son Joseph. He told the FBI he found tools hidden in his mother's house that could be used on the big bolts on power towers. His past history of mental illness makes it possible he could have sabotaged the towers while not in full possession of his faculties. To the FBI Joseph isn't a suspect. They have pretty much crossed him off the list. So they pretty much have nothing. No suspect. No leads. No answers.

"Gloves Create a Towering Headache for City Worker"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:31 AM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2005

Election Day Recap

There was an election yesterday. You probably noticed no pithy, extremely insightful analysis on TAM. All due to technical issues. It's a day later, I have a stable net connection (for now), and I still won't comment too much on the elections. Why spent my time doing what Patrick did?

Let me offer this idea: In the next state superintendent race get Howard Fuller to run on the GOP ticket. If school choice hasn't seriously expanded by 2009 make that the focus of the campaign. If Fuller wanted to run he would be formidible and scare the hell out of the teachers union.

"A Great Night for Politically Active Folks of S/E Wisconsin"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2005

Today is Election Day

Don't forget to vote for Gregg Underheim for state school superintendent. Also vote no on making some county offices four-year terms and vote yes on the advisory referendum asking if state government should pay for circuit courts and human services mandated by the state. Finally, if you have to decide on raising taxes for your local school vote no. Your pocketbook will thank you.

"Schools Job Tops Ballot Tuesday"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:12 AM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2005

A Call in the Night

State Sen. Mary Lazich had a evening conversation with Owen of Boots & Sabers. You know you're making an impact with your weblog when politicians are calling you.

I guess TAM isn't making quite the impact. No wonder TAM isn't on the Fond du Lac County GOP list of "good Republican links." :-(

"'Hello, is this Owen from Boots and Sabers?'"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)

Loser Comes to Wisconsin

John Edwards, hair and all, was in Wisconsin speaking before Democrats. He said lots of standard Edward boilerplate that "it says a lot about the character of a country as to how they treat those who are struggling." He also said Democrats "need to stand up for what we believe in." Sounds a bit like Howard Dean, M.D.

"Edwards Back in Wisconsin"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:10 AM | Comments (1)

March 31, 2005

Teachers Union Opens the Spigot

The teachers union will spend more to support incumbent state superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster than what both she and opponent Gregg Underheim have raised combined in campaign contributions.

WEAC can't be afraid Burmaster will lose. She won't. Burmaster has raised almost four times the money Underheim has. I can only imagine it's the union's way of sending a message. They're telling potential future conservative opponents that if they're willing to spend this much on a sure-thing race imagine what they would spend in a highly competitive one?

"Schools Race to Get Cash Infusion"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:16 AM | Comments (1)

March 30, 2005

Washburn is a Winner

Washburn's World is a great new Wisconsin weblog find. (Thanks, Kevin.) Through his wizbang mathematical analysis of Milwaukee voter fraud John concludes John Kerry loses about 3000 votes. That's more than 25% of his total ballot victory in Wisconsin. He asks, "What are the ballot box stuffing numbers are in Madison, Kenosha, Racine and Green Bay, West Allis, Wausau, Eau Claire, etc.?"

John also organizes 27 Wisconsin election problems.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

More Details on Naked Man

We have more details on the Kenosha naked man shot to death yesterday morning. He was 300 pounds. His size may explain why Officer David Monson shot him nine times. What still isn't understood is why Sgt. Ron Bartholomew didn't use the taser--not a stun gun as previously reported--on the man.

"Kenosha Police Kill Naked Man who was Threatening His Kids"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:21 AM | Comments (5)

March 29, 2005

Naked Man Shot by Police

Last night, a naked man walking along a Kenosha street with his three naked kids was shot and killed by police. One of the children told police the man "had an argument with his girlfriend, smoked marijuana, drank shampoo and poured water over his children before taking all three naked into the street." What the heck was in that weed and shampoo? The story says one of the officers had a stun gun. Why wasn't that used instead of shooting the man nine times? Realize this was after the man tossed away the scissors he had pressed to a baby's neck. Being naked he certainly wasn't hiding anything? I'm not saying Officer David Monson was wrong for shooting the man, questions need to be answered.

This would be the weird story of the day but someone got killed. Instead it's just very sad.

"Naked Man Shot and Killed by Police in Kenosha"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

Getting Someone in Trouble

Owen took the pic and demanded an explanation. He told you to listed to WTMJ this morning for more. No stories on the web yet so I'll let you know that the van is part of a Milwaukee County public transit program. The van was designated for the 440th Airlift Wing to bring in people from Racine. Being near Beloit, WI violated the rules for the van's use. Someone's in trouble.

Patrick did post audio of the WTMJ story.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:19 AM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2005

Our Yapper in Spain

Charlie's on vacation:

I'm leaving for Spain this afternoon, so (I'm sorry), no blogging for the next week.

Hopefully the rest of the WI Blogosphere will pick up the slack, until I'm back.


I didn't know we were slacking off.

I hope someone doesn't annonymously call customs and tell them not to let him back into the country because he might be a threat. That would be a real bummer. ;-)

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:32 AM | Comments (4)

March 23, 2005

The Felon Loophole

Wisconsin is trying to put together a state-wide voter list. The Journal Sentinel's Greg Borowski reports a glaring loophole that will allow felons to illegally vote:

The statewide voter list, due to be completed late this year, would collect information on felons who are still on probation or parole and, as it stands now, officials would strike them from voting rolls.

That follows the historic practice of Milwaukee and most other municipalities. On the surface, it may seem like the right approach. But with Wisconsin as one of the few states in the country with same-day registration, it would mean the felon could simply register on site and cast a ballot anyway.

Indeed, the Journal Sentinel has determined 29 of the 82 felons, or 35%, registered on election day.


One solution is to keep felons' names on voter lists but have a notation added. State Elections Board chief Kevin Kennedy isn't sure he wants to "clutter up the list." If you don't keep highlighted felons on the list you have two options: end same-day registration; or prosecute felons who vote illegally. If Milwaukee's E. Michael McCann is an example strong prosecutions won't happen. With all the shady registration operations going on last year I'm strongly in favor of ending same-day registration to give elections officials enough time to prepare for a fair, fraud-free election.

"Voter List Lacks Key Element"

UPDATE: Wow, the Journal Sentinel editorial board actually notices a voting fraud problem. The "What Me Worry?" gang is getting better. Yet they still can't see the need for voters to show an ID before getting a ballot. The newspaper's reporters know why photo ID at the polls is needed. So close, but still so far.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:28 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2005

Welcome to the Blogosphere

State Rep. Frank Lasee has jumped into the blogosphere. His weblog will be a great source for pro-TABOR info.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:34 PM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2005

Justified Opposition

The Florida sex offender admitting he killed his neighbor's little girl will only embolden Milwaukee-area citizens to oppose a sex offender house in their neighborhood.

"More Flak for Group Home"

"Fla. Police Discover Missing Girl's Body"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2005

Felons Voted

No longer can people claim there's no evidence of voter fraud in last year's elections. The Journal Sentinel's uber reporter Greg Borowski has found at least 82 felons who cast ballots. Borowski writes,

It also provides clear evidence of fraudulent voters in the November election, in which Democrat John Kerry topped President Bush by about 11,000 votes in Wisconsin.

Now, is Mayor Tom Barrett going to get serious about voter fraud?

"82 Felons Voted in Nov. 2 Election"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2005

Targeting Walker

We know there's a political agenda behind locating a sexual predator home in the Milwaukee area. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker spells it out:

What really got them upset was the fact that I raised the question that some on the committee might have political motives. Yesterday, it was confirmed that several sites owned by the City of Milwaukee were considered by the committee prior to narrowing the field down to six sites, then four sites, then three sites. The City of Milwaukee objected and the sites were removed. The first two private land owners objected and the sites were removed. A third site was removed this week because a private land owner removed.

The Milwaukee County Division of Community and Economic Development sent notice to the committee in February that the two county owned sites under consideration by the committee were not for sale and explained the difficult process to change that status. Then, on March 7, the chair of the panel sent me a letter (dated March 4) asking about the two county owned sites. I sent a letter back stating that the sites are NOT FOR SALE.

Why is it that another level of government and three private land owners need only raise a concern and their sites are removed from consideration, but when we clearly state - not once, but twice - that the county owned sites are NOT FOR SALE, the chairman of the committee feels the need to attack the leadership of the county? I think we all know the answer.


The answer is Scott Walker is running for governor. Democrats fear him and want to do anything they can to hurt him politically.

"Walker's Response"

UPDATE: It's rare that I come to the same brilliant conclusion as the very astute Mark Belling. Patrick's audio clip proves great minds think alike.

"Congratulations Owen!"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:08 AM | Comments (2)

March 10, 2005

Cows are Free

Glendale city officials got their act together and will let Karl Kopp put up 23 fiberglass cows. The city originally ruled against him because it claimed the bovines were advertising. The Board of Appeals disagreed. Paul Lucey said the location, an embankment, was as place he couldn't "imagine that someone would put advertising dollars."

Now that I've milked this story for all it's worth, I'll have to mooove on down to Glendale and rustle me up some pictures for you when the herd's been put out to pasture.

"Kopp's Art is Ruled Bovine, Not a Sign"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:32 AM | Comments (3)

March 09, 2005

No Pity

Based on reporting by Spivak & Bice those Milwaukee police officers who witnessed the beating of Frank Jude and did nothing will have their careers ruined.

Good. They failed in their sworn duty. Police possess coercive powers monopolized by the state. They have them in order to protect citizens' rights. When those rights are violated due to police action or inaction they trample on a public trust. Public confidence is damaged which only makes the police's crime fighting job harder. I have no sympathy for those pathetic excuses for law enforcement officers. They deserve whatever they get.

"Jude Cops can Kiss Law Careers Goodbye"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

Stretched Thin

Tommy Thompson is out of government and has three new jobs: senior advisor for Deloitte & Touche, partner for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and president of Logistics Health Inc.

For the accounting and law firms Thompson will be zooming all over drumming up business. At Logistics Health he'll be responsible for company growth. That shouldn't be a problem since the company is a "provider of medical readiness and homeland security solutions." Knowing plenty of people in the administration won't hurt his company. You know he wasn't hired for his management style.

While devoting 70% of his time to Deloitte and Akin Gump and being a full-time employee of Logistics Health (sure, he'll really be putting in 50-hour weeks for them) Thompson will go on the speaking circuit and even teach a class. When the guy said he wanted to finally make some money he wasn't kidding.

"Thompson Adds Another Job"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 05:18 PM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2005

Doyle Wants to Tax Your Downloads

Gov. Doyle wants to slap a tax on internet downloads. So whenever you buy a song on iTunes or the latest version of anti-virus software, Doyle wants you to pay an extra 5% to fund his big government. This from a man who last month told the state legislature:

And, keeping true to my promise, we will eliminate this $1.6 billion deficit without raising taxes.

That crash you just heard wasn't a window breaking, it was a Doyle promise.

Politically, Doyle looks like a fool. It's a tax that won't be enforced--citizens will pay on the honor system. He's going to be mocked by radio talk yappers and webloggers. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Congressman Mark Green will pump out a few press releases bashing Doyle for trying to balance the state budget on iPod owners. Then they'll be an announcement that Doyle changed his mind. He gains nothing.

"Doyle Proposes Sales Tax on Internet Downloads"

[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:36 AM | Comments (2)

Cudahay's One-Dollar Deal

I agree with Bruce Murphy that having to shower the Pabst City project with oodles of government subsidies shows there isn't a market for the project. However, about the Pabst Theater he writes,

In the meantime, Milwaukee has the Pabst Theater, with its own connection to the brewing industry, which is booking an original series of music acts in a unique venue – and without a huge government hand-out. Why is the city using tax dollars to undermine the Pabst, the Riverside, Shank Hall and all the other entertainment providers in town?

Murphy fails to mention that the City of Milwaukee gave the theater to multimillionaire Michael Cudahay for one dollar. Talk about a huge government handout.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:18 AM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2005

Journal Sentinel is Pro-Cow

The Journal Sentinel editorial board has joined this humble weblog in endorsing the cows Karl Kopp wants to place behind his Greendale store. They base their opinion on Kopp's track record for design:

His three frozen custard stands are as notable for their distinctive architecture as they are for the cholesterol-laden goodies they purvey. Kopp's cows would be a festive ornament, not a blemish. Kopp should win his appeal.

"Heard the One about Cows?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

Poof! Taxes Become Fees

We have found one way how local government will try to get around a Taxpayers Bill of Right (TABOR) or a state-imposed property tax freeze. They'll turn taxes into fees. That's what Slinger is considering:

If the state Legislature imposes tax levy limits on municipal governments, Brandt said, he does not know how the village could maintain the Police Department at its current size without substantially reducing other services.

One reduction on the list, removing the $171,520 expense for garbage collection and waste recycling from the property tax, would simply shift the cost to a yearly bill for users of the services. A property owner's share of the cost also would no longer be tax-deductible.

Moving fire protection off the levy would drop it by $125,000, but the expense would show up on water bills.


The end result is too great a burden on taxpayers. The point of TABOR and a property tax freeze is to end the long-standing growth in government. One person's fee is another's tax but it still ends up sucking hard earned money out of peoples' pockets. We'll have to keep a close eye on this.

"Police Cuts Among Slinger Options"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:18 AM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2005

Free(ze) the Cows

Glendale city busybodies rejected a local frozen custard stand's request to install 23 fiberglass cows behind their stand. Nearby property owners haven't complained yet Mayor Jay Hintze said, "My sense is that the bulk of the community would be against it."

"Custard's Last Stand: Kopp's Appeals Ban on Cow Art"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:07 AM | Comments (2)

March 03, 2005

Feingold Loses Mother

My prayers are with Sen. Feingold and his family.

"Sen. Feingold's Mother Dies at 86" [via Lakeshore Laments]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:55 PM | Comments (1)

March 02, 2005

But What Nice Phones They Have

Based on Owen's experience he knows OIC was a bloated spendthrift that deserved to be shut down.

"OIC's Call Manager"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

Yapping About Ward

Thanks to Cam Edwards for letting me yap this afternoon on NRANews.com about the Ward Churchill event.

By the way if you want to hear how I did, go to NRANews.com and drag the slider almost near the end. I'm the last guest on Cam's show.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:36 PM | Comments (1)

Churchill Rally Photo Essay

The prayer vigil/rally/protest was organized at the campus mall. Across the street from the rally was a huge American flag.

bigflag.jpg

About a half hour before the rally started there were only a handful of Churchill defenders. One of the women held a sign that read "I Love Men."

pro-churchill.jpg

Another Churchillian (to steal Jib's word) had a bullhorn. He moved right up to the rally attendees and spewed Lefty cliches like "No blood for oil!" and "No blood for Halliburton!" These guys need to get some new material. He also carried a sign that read "They* Hate Our Freedom" meaning the "Rightwing."

hateourfreedom.jpg

Check out this gentleman.

capitalismisterrorism.jpg

He may hate capitalism, but ironically he sports mittens and a headband made via the capitalist system to keep him warm. When you have such a simplistic message on a sign complex thought is far from your mind.

Speaking of capitalism, a local coffee shop took advantage of a crowd in the cold by selling warm drinks.

coffeecart.jpg

And what would any protest be without the Socialists?

socialistworker.jpg

Surprisingly, I didn't hear any call to "Free Mumia."

The rally attendees were standing proud if occasionally looking strange. One man who garnered a lot of the reporters' attention was clear in his belief.

crossedtheline.jpg

This woman had similar feeling to Ann Althouse and wished Churchill didn't get all the attention he was getting.

donotattend.jpg

These folks weren't exactly clear as to why they disapproved of Churchill.

littlechurchills.jpg

This gentleman decided to advocate anarcho-capitalism.

privatizeuw.jpg

Charlie Sykes spoke.

sykes.jpg

As did State Rep. Stephen Nass.

nass.jpg

And State Rep. Robin Vos.

vos.jpg

Let's just say the two didn't inspire anyone. People were hyped up enough.

A voice who's absence spoke volumes was Gov. Jim Doyle's. Not even a condemnation of Churchill's hate has publically left his lips.

Young

youngcandle.jpg

and old

oldcandle.jpg

both remembered those who died at the hands of evil, Islamists.

And many will never forget the fallen.

inmemory.jpg

UPDATE: The Journal Sentinel lets us know what happened at Churchill's speech. For being an event supposedly devoted to racism toward American Indians Churchill talked a lot about himself.

"Churchill Defends Sept. 11 Essay in Speech at UW-Whitewater"

---

Charlie Sykes notes the rudeness from Lefty Churchill backers:

When the minister tried to lead the crowd in prayer in memory of the dead -- they continued the shout down, and largely succeeded in drowning out the prayer.

---

Dean was also at the rally with pics and reaction.

---

BlogGeneral wonders why Churchill even bothers living in the U.S.

UPDATE II: Ann Althouse finds Churchill "boring." That I completely agree with. I didn't get to see his speech/ego stroking live, but I didn't miss anything. He's merely an angry man with a schtick who's moment of fame is fading. It was most fascinating seeing his defenders act. It was a far-Left fringe--not where approaching mainstream Democrats--that couldn't or wouldn't denounce what he said.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:00 AM | Comments (7)

March 01, 2005

Jib's Churchill Coverage

I may have beaten Jib to the punch with my initial report, but he's beaten me with some pictures. My delay is because of the Badgers-Hoosiers game and software problems. I've been having trouble using Audacity to import the recording I made. (First time I've really played with audio software.) It also didn't help that I had to drive 1 1/2 hours home from Whitewater.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

Whitewater Rapids

Tonight is cold, very cold. Almost as cold as Ward Churchill's heart. Almost as cold as Churchill's supporters who had the gall to chant during a prayer to Sep. 11 victims and their families. Fortunately, that was the worst of the behavior. Sure there were plenty of in-your-face discussions, heated at times, but they were peaceful. People were passionate about Churchill's hate speech while others were passionate in defending his right to speak--which no one has questioned--as well as his radical ideas. There was the obligatory Halliburton chant--a Leftist rally wouldn't be the same without one. Socialists and anarchist anti-capitalists joined in the fun. Neocons were blamed for starting a "war for oil." Funny, there was no mention of Karl Rove.

Twenty to thirty College Republicans started the protest by holding signs along the street remembering Sep. 11 victims. A half block down was Churchill's defenders--all twelve of them. These didn't seem like the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree. One held a sign that read "I Love Men." I didn't ask her what that had to do with free speech, anti-American hate, or Ward Churchill. It was Merry Prankster-ish.

For a prayer vigil this was the peppiest I ever attended. It was more of an act of defiance toward Churchill and the UW-Whitewater administration. There were cheers when Charlie Sykes and the other speakers pointed out Churchill's hateful rantings. There was a plan to walk silently to the University Center where Churchill would speak, but the College Republican who was to lead us got the crowd all riled up by having us thank everyone who put the event together. Solemnity gave way to passionate indignation.

On a techie note: thanks to Jib for letting me use his computer. I'm having no trouble posting with UW-Whitewater's wi-fi. I'm glad to know some of my tax dollars are going to something productive. I have pictures and recorded some conversations. I'll try to post those later tonight.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)

Whitewater Prayer Vigil

Countering the hate that will be spewed by Ward Churchill the UW-Whitewater College Republicans will be hosting a prayer vigil. Speaking there will be Charlie Sykes.

Jib and I will be there to cover the event. Expect something later in the evening. Neither Jib nor I know if we'll be able to find an available wi-fi connection in Whitewater.

"Ward Churchill, UW-Whitewater Preview"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:24 AM | Comments (2)

February 28, 2005

Milwaukee Officers Charged

It's one thing to be cautious and complete, but District Attorney E. Michael McCann just loves to take his sweet time in filing charges. It took months for him to file charges against the Election Day tire slashers. In the case of Frank Jude, it took McCann over three months to charge three Milwaukee police officers. This case was trickier because the district attorney needed someone to start talking. Officers present wouldn't talk due to "misplaced loyalty" to use McCann's words. The wife of accused Officer Jon Bartlett is talking in exchange for immunity.

Look at what "Milwaukee's finest" did. The beating didn't even happen while the officers were on duty. It happened at a party hosted by one of the accused Andrew Spengler. What a black eye those "peace keepers" gave their department and their city.

This crime has the potential of inflaming racial tensions. Alderman, racebaiter, and gay basher Michael McGee tried to flex black power by calling for a boycott of two Milwaukee shopping centers. His call was ignored. That's a good sign.

"3 Milwaukee Police Officers Charged in Jude Beating"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:34 PM | Comments (1)

February 27, 2005

Ick

Some things are better left unmentioned. [via Galley Slaves]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:05 PM | Comments (2)

Countering Churchill's Hate

Bob Trapp offers this information on a counter-demonstration at Tuesday's Ward Churchill event:

RALLY TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF 9-11

Walworth GOP Chairman Tyler August forwarded this information to me.

The Whitewater College Republicans are holding a rally to support the victims of 9-11, as a more positive way of protesting the expected appearance of radical leftist professor Ward Churchill at the Whitewater campus next Tuesday, March 1st.

When? Tuesday March 1st.

Where? Rally participants are meeting at the south end of Wyman Mall (below the flag pole); University of Whitewater campus, Whitewater, WI, which is located next to Anderson Library, located directly on US Highway 12 in downtown Whitewater

Time? 6pm- Rally with State Reps. Steve Nass and Robin Vos and RPWC Chairman Tyler August

6:45 pm (approximate) Candlelight vigil-walk from Wyman Mall to Hamilton Center

Sponsors: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College Republicans


Sounds good. Being positive will be a refreshing change to Churchill's venomous bile. I hope to be there taking pictures and getting reaction.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:37 PM | Comments (0)

Anti-American Arrives Tuesday

Tuesday, Ward Churchill is coming to UW-Whitewater. I'm trying to get organized with my fellow BBA members and readers.

"Preparing for Churchill"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:25 AM | Comments (1)

February 24, 2005

"Picture of Chaos"

After listening to the BBA's favorite Journal Sentinel reporter Greg Borowski (go buy his book) on Charlie Sykes' show this morning we're at an impasse in the voter fraud story. the fed-city joint investigation is preventing reporters and weblogger from looking at voting records. Also the Elections Commission ran the election so badly it will be very hard to disern fraud from poor record keeping. Borowski told Charlie that a "picture of chaos emerged in the final days" at City Hall. Absentee ballot requests weren't filled and a bunch of union workers, staff from Gov. Doyle, and even Mayor Tom Barrett's family had to pitch in to get process thousands of voter registration cards.

Rep. Jeff Stone is exactly right when he told Charlie, "We have a system designed to allow for fraud to occur and for tremendous error." We see the error, we just don't know how much fraud occured.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:25 PM | Comments (4)

TABOR Debate

I'm listening to the TABOR debate on Charlie Sykes' "Insight 2005." This is great, informative talk on what TABOR is, why it's needed, and how we got in

State Assembly Speaker John Gard is a passionate, very smart speaker. I'm glad he's fighting for TABOR and not distracted by running for governor. By comparing Wisconsin's tax burden to that of growing countries like China and Ireland puts the issue in a global economic context.

Opponents of TABOR have been defending their side very well. State Rep. John Richards offered the rebuttal that controling government spending is the role of legislators and government officals. If voters have a problem with spending they should vote new people into office. This is a simple, seemingly common sense comeback. However, it doesn't explain why why Wisconsin government spending has been increasing for decades, nor does it include any public choice thinking involving the power of special interests.

For someone like me who doesn't have an in-depth knowledge of TABOR (that's why I've written little on it) this is a bonanza to learn more about the idea and arguments against it.

Bravo, Charlie for putting together a great event.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:55 AM | Comments (2)

Must Listen

Charlie Sykes has a great line up for his "Insight 2005" show this morning. I do see something missing: where are the webloggers? One member of the BBA--I'd nominate Owen--could have yapped with Rep. Jeff Stone and Greg Borowski about voter fraud. Still, this is must listen radio.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:17 AM | Comments (1)

February 23, 2005

When a Cut Isn't a Cut

Awesome post by Owen showing the "evil" state Republicans aren't really gutting public education like Gov. Doyle is claiming.

"Doing the Math"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:14 AM | Comments (0)

Voter ID Politics

The voter ID bill is almost one-third of the way to becoming law. The State Assembly will vote on the bill Thursday after Democrats got the vote delayed. The bill will then go to a State Senate committee which will hold public hearings across the state. The toughest part is trying to convince Gov. Doyle not to veto the bill. Republicans will have to decide what political maneuvers to use to get this bill signed. The GOP could hold up something important to Doyle. It could be part of the budget/tax freeze negotiations. At worst, Doyle vetoes the bill and gives Scott Walker and/or Mark Green another popular issue to use against the Democratic incumbant.

"Late-Night Move Stalls Voter ID Measure"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:35 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2005

Fizzy Thinking

Milwaukee might have an official soda. You could say it already does: barley pop. The city council is considering taking offers from soda companies. San Diego got $6.6 million from Pepsi. This could be a good idea for taxpayers. The new soda money could replace taxdollars, but that would require the government to not spend more. Also, Milwaukee already has a fine soda company, Sprecher. The fizzy stuff they make is so much better than Coke, Pepsi, even R.C.

"Milwaukee Will Consider Adopting Official Soft Drink"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:09 PM | Comments (2)

February 19, 2005

Congressional "No Customer Service"

Mary Eileen is having trouble with Rep. Sensenbrenner's office on getting details about a bill that just passed the House. A staffer in the office told her not to post about the issue until she got a letter from the Congressman two weeks from now. I know little about the bill so I'm hoping TAM readers can help.

"Concerns about "Real ID" Bill"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)

Correction on Chinese Spy Story

Hey all, I made a boo-boo. Yesterday, I was harsh on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I accused them of getting scooped by Time magazine on the Manitowoc spies. I was wrong. A few more minutes of Google searching would have found this 09.30.04 story about the FBI arresting a total of four people, Ning Wen, his wife, and two Chinese nationals. They were on the ball, and I messed up. My apologies.

"Manitowoc Couple Charged in China Export Scheme"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2005

Flooding the Zone

Lakeshore Laments is digging deep on the Manitowoc Chinese spies story.

"The Manitowoc Time Magazine Story"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:53 PM | Comments (1)

Badger State Spy Ring

Time is the first media outlet I've found that reports on the arrest of two Chinese American citizens in Manitowoc of sending computer parts to Communist Chinese. Nothing from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Wow, I live about 70 miles from an international spy ring.

"China's Big Export" [via Lakeshore Laments]

CORRECTION: The Journal Sentinel did indeed report on the story. I didn't search long enough. My apologies. For more, here's my correction post.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 09:06 AM | Comments (1)

Churchill's Eichmann Fetish

Ward Churchill, the hate-spewing, sad excuse for a tenured professor, likes calling lots of people Adolph Eichmann.

"For Ward Churchill, Who Isn't An Eichmann?" [via Ed Cone]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 07:19 AM | Comments (1)

February 17, 2005

Unknown Racine Voters

Brainpost looks at the Racine Journal Times reporting 313 voter verification postcards (so far) have been returned to the city clerk. Rob--some Journal Times reporter who runs the Rob on the Road weblog--reports 106 of the cards will be turned over to the district attorney. This is the same number as GOP State Rep. Robin Vos called suspicious--82 were marked "unable to deliver" and 24 had wrong addresses.

"Election Fraud Update: 313 Racine Voter Registration Postcards Returned"

UPDATE: This might be good news for G. Gordon Liddy. Redstate reports Senators Hillary Clinton and John Kerry are backing legislation that would force states to allow ex-felons to vote. As Tex Whitley writes, "Do Hillary and the Dems need the ex-felon vote in order to win a national election? Perhaps they do."

"Hillary and Kerry: Let Felons Vote"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

MU Apologizes

I may be in D.C. but I can still cover Milwaukee. Case in point: Marquette University admits one of its professors erred by comparing American snipers to Nazis.

"Marquette Apologizes for “Sniper/Nazi” Jibe" [via Charlie Sykes]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:31 AM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2005

Tire Slashing Case Heads to Trial

The five accused of slashing the tires of rented GOP get out the vote vans finished their preliminary hearing yesterday. Those accused include the son of a Democratic Congressman and the son of a Milwaukee ex-mayor. The next step is a 03.04 arraignment.

"5 Must Stand Trial in Tire-Slashing"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:40 AM | Comments (0)

Insomnia and an Election

It's late and I'm posting again. Nights before I travel on airplanes mean trouble sleeping. No, I have no fear of planes--odd since I'm generally afraid of heights--it's just the excitement of going places keeps me awake. Thankfully, there's news to comment on.

Yesterday was primary election day in Wisconsin. Somewhere, someplace may have had a local race or two. For me, the only thing on the ballot was state superintendent.

Incumbent Elizabeth Burmaster will face Gregg Underheim on 04.05. Burmaster is backed by the teachers union, the Journal Sentinel editorial board, and liberals in general. Underheim is backed by Republicans, conservatives, and anti-tax hawks. I'll let you guess who I voted for and am supporting.

Underheim will have a tough climb to win. Since the state superintendent is on a very off year only die-hard activists and political junkies know about the race. This makes Burmaster's support from the teachers union all that more important. She already has a network of passionate backers ready to donate time and money. Underheim has to galvanize conservatives who are more focused on getting the taxpayers' bill of rights into the state constitution. Burmaster should win easily. Too bad. Imagine Gov. Doyle having to deal with a state superintendent not asking for more tax dollars?

Something interesting happened to me at the polls. At 7:00 last night, I went into my polling place. I was #47. Filling the one hole on my ballot took all of ten seconds. After I put my ballot in the box one of the poll workers asked me to fill out a new registration form. I completed the simple form that looks more complicated than it really is. The poll worker then asked to see my drivers license.

[sarcasm]
Oh my god! I think I was disenfranchised! How dare they! Don't they trust me!?!
[/sarcasm]

Actually, I think it was a gentle, effective way of updating the voter rolls.

"Burmaster, Underheim Advance Easily to Finals"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 03:35 AM | Comments (1)

February 15, 2005

Voting Problems Go Beyond Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found other Wisconsin communities have simmilar problems as Milwaukee in accounting for differences between the number of votes cast and voters who cast them. Milwaukee can only account for 96.5% of votes cast. Neenah can account for 95.5%. Eau Claire can account for only 92.5% Madison and Fond du Lac did slightly better than Milwaukee with 96.7% of votes accounted for.

How Milwaukee differs from these other communities is how they quickly explain the gaps. Waupau and Bayside both insist the error is with Wisconsin Voter Lists, the first that shared its data with the Journal Sentinel. Their records account for every single vote. In Howard, an official pointed out a computer system that considered newly registered voters as having voted last Election Day.

In Milwaukee, the only explanation for the 7,000 vote gap is "layer upon layer" of human error. No one from the Election Commission or the Mayor's office will consider voter fraud.

There are some disturbing news. Eau Claire officials claim 8,000-10,000 voters (out of over 36,000 total voters) changed their address causing them to re-register. Close to one-third of a city moved? How typical is that? They say processing them is the reason for their large vote gap--92.5% accounted for. Then Madison, another big source for Democratic votes, doesn't even bother trying to reconcile the number of votes and voters. Hey vote fraudsters, go to Madison, they don't care!

"More Voting Gaps Found"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:05 AM | Comments (3)

February 13, 2005

A Rejoinder to a Response

Sometimes when people converse they talk past each other in such a way as to think they understood what the other was saying. That seems to be the case with Ann Althouse and I. In an e-mail Ann asked me, "Aren't you helping him get attention?" I took it as the probing question a professor would ask. Hence, the post I wrote.

Ann posted a response where she wrote,

He titles the new post "Should we even bother?" which suggests he's not really getting or not admitting what my point was.

Part of the problem is the fact that I write lousy post titles. What usually happens is the first half-decent phrase that comes to mind gets slapped onto the post. Another problem was a misunderstanding. I thought her point was about drawing attention to Ward Churchill. Is that what the egomanic wants? I was incorrect. Here's what she was trying to get at:
But if your outrage at things Churchill has written is creating a fund of energy that you want to expend on something useful, what I have recommended and continue to recommend is to focus on the institutions that hire and promote undercredentialed political ideologues like him. By focusing on Churchill, you make it easier for those institutions to avoid responsibility for what is a much broader problem. You make it all too easy for these institutions to retaliate against the one individual that critics have locked onto. You help them make it seem as though they've done enough. That the retaliation also offends free speech values further demonstrates how dysfunctional the focus on the individual speaker is.

Ann is looking at the more systemic problem. Churchill is just a symptom. Focusing on him misses the greater fault. Attacking tenure and possibly freedom of speech becomes collateral damage.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:33 PM | Comments (1)

February 11, 2005

Churchill's Coming to Whitewater

UW-Whitewater chancellor Jack Miller is a strange man who's written a strange statement for why he's allowing anti-American Ward Churchill to speak on campus next month.

First, he says, "I find the decision to be repugnant because of the offensive nature of his [Churchill's] remarks." Yet he's still allowing Churchill to soil his campus.

Second, Miller mentions Churchill's problems with his academic and ethnic crediblity as having "his scholarship is being questioned and is now under review by his employer," yet "that does not negate his status as a frequent speaker on Native American issues." So, I guess questions of academic fraud dealing with the subject he is suppose to speak doesn't disqualify him. Theoretically does that mean I could make up a bunch of stuff about economics, claim I was an economist, use other's work as my own, and still speak at UW-Whitewater as an "economics expert?" In one of Miller's stipulations he acknowledges that the University of Colorado's investigation of Churchill could change his mind.

Third, Miller admits the university is "under no obligation to extend him an invitation" yet he sides with "First Amendment principles." I'm confused. If Churchill doesn't have a First Amendment right to speak at the campus then what principle is Miller siding with?

What's most odd about Miller's decision is he will personally make a contribution to fund a speaker he finds repugnant and offensive.

Miller wrote a letter to Churchill asking him to clarify his "little Eichmans" remark and "provide a more direct and personal response to those who were deeply hurt by your remarks."

Churchill's undignified response was full of bravado and spite. The arrogant professor encloses a response essay and declares it to be his "final clarification." In the letter there's no hint of sympathy toward the victims of Sep. 11, and no acknowledgement that he hurt many people with his words. Churchill the snidely writes,

While you do, one assumes, hold the prerogative to cancel the event on bona fide security grounds, your right to do so because of disagreements 'your own or others’ -- with certain political conclusions I’ve drawn is dubious at best.

Please be advised that should you opt to cancel the contracted event for any reason whatsoever, your institution will be obliged to pay me the full amount of my honorarium at the appointed time (i.e., the date scheduled for my lecture).

Please be further advised that these monies will be used, at least in part, to underwrite my coming to Whitewater at the earliest opportunity for purposes of meeting at some appropriate location, either off campus or on, with the students who originally desired to hear what I have to say with regard to Indian Affairs.


This disgusting, egotistical man wants his money and his moment of fame. He intends to come to Whitewater, whether the speech is cancelled or not, and grab as much attention as he can.

"Churchill Gets OK to Speak at UW-Whitewater"

UPDATE: Seamus Heffernan looks at Ward Churchill's attack on capitalism and living a comfortable life:

The truly insufferable aspect of Churchill's piece is his callous dismissal of the people in those building, who, while talking on their phones and planning lunch, were doing what most of us have to do every day: work.

The WTC was targeted as a symbol of American success and global capitalism, but the majority of people inside were just ordinary people. They had kids and mortgages and real lives that may seem mundane and even stupid to people like Churchill. After all, what right do these people have to chase their little slice of normal life when there's untold suffering going on, somewhere, sometime? In the whole big picture, it's not like Timmy's soccer game is all that important, and it's not like you should have the right to get excited about a pitcher of beer and chicken wings with your friends on a Friday.

As 99% of us feel, these things are important - and it doesn't put blood on our hands. Churchill is not just defending terrorists, he is attacking the basic principle of capitalist life: get up and go to work. In that sense, these people were part of the vast globalization conspiracy the Churchills, Moores and Chomskys continuously warn us about. They wanted to make a living and provide for themselves.

Professor Churchill is not merely anti-American, he sneers at the reality most of us face as we fight for a seat on the Tube, or when we have to stay late at the office. In Ward Churchill's eyes, we shouldn't be so wrapped up in our narrow, pathetic little consumerist lives. Certainly, we should stop and appreciate what we have worked for occasionally - and remember that not all of us have it so easy as to get tenure. But it is the work of ordinary people living the sort of lives that Ward Churchill despises that has helped create the prosperity that America enjoys.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:38 AM | Comments (7)

February 10, 2005

Checking the Logbooks

Milwaukee elections chief Lisa Artison and Mayor Tom Barrett's office have to stop blaming Milwaukee's voting problems on clerical errors. An analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel--Greg Borowski strikes again--went through polling place logbooks. The logbooks are suppose to have the number of the last ballot cast in that ward. That number should match the number of ballots cast. Here's what the newspaper found:

But the newspaper's review found 24 cases where there is a discrepancy of at least 5%, with more ballots than voters listed in a ward. Logbooks for another 20 wards showed no entry for the last voter counted.

In some cases looking at the logbooks eliminated the discrepancies found last week by the Journal Sentinel.

Logbooks with numbers that don't match the number of ballots counted could mean lousy poll workers, could mean some poll workers looked the other way when fraud occured, or could mean nefarious people took advantage of those poll workers.

What we need to know now is the number of votes and voters based on the logbooks. We can then know how what discrepancies are due to post-election work done by Artison's office and how many questionable votes remain.

To broaden the scope beyond Milwaukee I received a spreadsheet with voter totals and registration numbers. From a brief look at the numbers I noticed Milwaukee's same-day registration were out of whack from the rest of the state. In Milwaukee 30% of voters registered on Election Day. The state average was 14.78%. To compare other cities, Waukesha's same-day registration was 24.5%. Brookfield's was 7.66%. West Bend's was 17.48% Germantown's was 13.52% Appleton had 20.29%. Racine has 25.66% of its voters register on Election Day. Kenosha had 26.03%. Green Bay had 17.03%. Madison had 22.58% of voters register the same day.

Here's the spreadsheet so you too can number crunch.

2004 Wisconsin Same-Day Registration spreadsheet

I'd love to see what other webloggers and readers and divine from this.

"Voter Logbooks out of Whack"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:38 AM | Comments (4)

February 09, 2005

Who is Marquis Murff?

The newspaper is seeing double. Marquis F. Murff is one of many names found by the Journal Sentinel as voting twice on Election Day. Murff is listed as voting at a non-existent address and a place that doesn't allow men to live. No, I don't think this has anything to do with Bosom Buddies.

Here are some other interesting finds by Greg Borowski et al:


And there was Linda M. Chojnacki, who is listed as having voted from an address in the 1100 block of W. Montana St., where she says she has lived and voted for six years.

Records also list a Linda M. Chojnacki - one with the same birth date - as registering and voting from a house in the 2600 block of S. 7th St. Chojnacki, though, has never lived there and said she did not vote from that address.

...

There was Nicholas J. Poethig, a Marquette University student listed by the city as voting from a campus address and his parents' home on W. Woodlawn Court. Poethig said he only voted once, using his parents' address.

And Nicole D. Spears, listed by the city as voting from an address in the 5800 block of N. 75th St., as well as her old address on W. Lynmar Trail. A woman at the 75th St. address said Spears voted only from that address, but used to live at the other.

There was Carrie S. Stotmeister, listed by the city as voting from her University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee address, where she registered as part of an on-campus registration drive. She is also listed as registering on election day and voting using her parents' address, on N. 53rd St. She said she voted only once, from that address.

And Tameia McNeill, listed as living at a home in the 2600 block of N. 47th St. and an apartment on W. Highland Blvd. In both cases, city records show on-site registrations, though McNeill says she voted using only the Highland Blvd. apartment address.


Unlike the editorial board who sees no reason for a photo ID requirement for voters, the JS reporters see otherwise:
The newspaper has identified many recordkeeping and computer flaws in the data. Those problems complicate any review of the election, since they translate into hundreds - even thousands - of incomplete or duplicate records. If those records are not corrected, they leave the door open for future fraud.

For instance, extra names and addresses are on the voter rolls and, since no ID is required at the polls, it would be easy for individuals to scam the system and vote from them in the future.


I vote they should replace Ricardo Pimentel with Greg Borowski.

"Double Trouble in Voter Inquiry"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:47 AM | Comments (4)

February 08, 2005

Doyle's Budget Address

Here's some initial reaction to Gov. Doyle's budget address:

To do that, my budget cuts state operations spending by more than $270 million - holding the growth in spending to less than four percent each year.
It's odd politician doublespeak--no matter the party--that makes people more cynical about government. Spending can't be cut if it grows. Up is not down. Left isn't right.
How we get our kids prepared for life will have a more profound effect on the long-term strength of Wisconsin than anything else we do. So, if we want good jobs - it's education. If we want a growing economy - it's education. If we want to reduce the number of inmates - it's education. If we want to find cures to disease - it's education.
To an extent better education does mean a better economy and improved social conditions. But Doyle neglects economic freedom. Wisconsin could be producing Ph.D.'s as well as it does milk, but if high income and property taxes send those highly-educated people out of state to start businesses it's all for naught.

Then Doyle makes a very interesting statement about education:

And the people of Wisconsin should hold accountable anyone who plays politics with this core building block for our future.

What is he doing by not expanding school choice in Milwaukee? He's playing politics to keep his teachers union friends happy. Doyle's right. Wisconsinites should hold him accountable for playing politics with childrens' education. They can do that by voting for his opponent in next year's governors race.

Gov. Doyle goes on:

Third, to help schools reduce the cost of health care ... and to
guarantee the best teachers for our children ... my budget will repeal the outdated, inflexible QEO.

In other words, taxpayers, I'm care more about giving my teachers union friends big pay raises than lowering property taxes.

The juicy part of the speech deals with Doyle's version of a tax freeze.

With my budget, we will freeze property taxes.

My property tax freeze will prevent $900 million of property tax increases and save the average homeowner more than $330 in the next two years.

My property tax freeze treats local communities as partners, not enemies. Through investments in schools and local governments, new incentives and bonuses, and tough limits in the law, my plan will achieve the same goal as the Republican plan ... freezing property taxes.

But not only that, my property tax freeze is responsible. It protects education, promotes economic development, and preserves vital services like police and firefighters.

Here's how it works:

Under my budget, the state will live up to its commitments - fully fund shared revenue, provide two-thirds funding for education, and hold the line on state taxes. In return, we'll ask local governments and schools to do the same - hold the levy to the same overall level as the Republican plan without harming schools and services.

My freeze strictly limits the amount a community can raise taxes to just inflation and a percentage of their new growth. Communities will be able to maintain quality services while dealing with rising prices and growing populations, but they will have to set priorities just like we're doing at the state level.


Doyle does this by raiding the transportation fund, filled with gax and car taxes.

To "maintain nursing home services" Doyle proposes to borrow up to $130 million. In other words, he wants to increase taxes in the future.

Doyle is preparing for next year's election by offering a tax freeze that isn't. Property taxes may stay unchanged but taxpayers will still be paying via increased state spending on education and accounting gimmicks. In this political climate Doyle needed a freeze of his own. It's up to conservatives to point out he wants to put taxpayers on thin ice.

For more reaction read these [and here] Boots & Sabers pieces. There's also Lakeshore Laments, and Charlie Sykes called the speech "this was Mardis Gras for the special interests.... Fat Tuesday for WEAC!!!"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 11:19 PM | Comments (1)

McAdams in the Blogosphere

Prof. John McAdams, advisor to the Marquette College Republicans, decided to restart his weblog that lay dormant since last fall. On Sunday, he took apart the sniper motto MU officials were so uncomfortable with.

Of course, problems with the motto were only the public reason MU gave for squ